Milestone leases four H135s to ADAC, secures army order

Milestone Aviation is to lease four H135s to German MRO firm ADAC. The helicopters will be operated by the German military for pilot-training operations.

The Dublin-based lessor will source and deliver the aircraft quickly. The four helicopters will be taken from Milestone’s existing orderbook with Airbus, with the first two being delivered in March and the following two in April and May.

The German Army sent out a request for information (RFI) to source four H135s and outsource part of its pilot-training operations. ADAC agreed to maintain and service the helicopters and partnered with Milestone to source aircraft.

“Milestone is pleased to partner with ADAC in providing a unique solution to the German Army, enabling the introduction of new-technology aircraft in pilot training,” said Milestone President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Rosenthal. “We continue to believe that the lease solution combined with a skilled maintenance provider is a successful combination for government training programs.”

No new orders

Despite being the largest helicopter lessor by fleet size and value in the world, Milestone is in the exact same place as other lessors. Lessors are not ordering new aircraft either because they have so many aircraft either coming back from operations, sitting on the ground or because they all have a sizeable orderbook and option backlog.

In March last year, Milestone placed a €200 million firm order with Airbus Helicopters for EMS and parapublic H135s, H145s and H175s.

February and March have typically been the months when lessors announce big aircraft orders, but this year was different. Whilst the market is recovering, there is still an excess of aircraft that need to be placed on new missions. With lessors finding new opportunities outside of oil and gas in markets such as pilot training, they now have a substantial orderbook to draw from to source these aircraft.

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