Nova Capital: 20 years, 100 aircraft and a $500m portfolio


Resilience is the quality which has led aircraft lessor Nova Capital to achieve a $500m aircraft portfolio over 20 years in business, CEO Olivier Piot tells Helicopter Investor. With this milestone, he also announced that its fleet has crossed the 100-aircraft mark.

Piot says: “The keyword is resilience by sticking to our ongoing strategy focused on onshore business and public contract-backed operations.” Although not in the four digits like some of its contemporaries, Nova’s portfolio includes 89 helicopters and 14 fixed-wing aircraft. But one thing is very important to consider: Nova continues to bet on steady onshore contracts which will always deliver. Unlike the highly volatile offshore business.

Most of its helicopters are under public operations – such as EMS or firefighting – meaning that it didn’t see a significant impact on flight hours during the pandemic, says Piot.

Crossing of the $500m mark came with a sale and leaseback facility for six new Airbus H145D3s in EMS configuration. Together with its existing fleet, Nova will have 47 helicopters on EMS missions – 41 of which are flying in Europe. Deliveries are expected from December 2021 to April 2022.

The five-blade helicopters will be on long-term lease contracts and maintenance programmes from Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter engines.

Piot says: “I want to warmly thank all of the Nova Capital team members and partners, who through their continuing efforts over many years have contributed so much to our success, while also helping to provide many mission-critical services for our wider community.”

Piot’s intention is for Nova to stick to what has contributed to its steady growth in the past 20 years. “We would be willing to look at opportunities, but it is not our intention to grow in offshore,” adds Piot.

Elsewhere, Blade India will take delivery of five new Airbus H125s to expand its on-demand helicopter services in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The helicopters will be leased to operators by a GIFT-City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City)-based leasing company.

Blade India MD, Amit Dutta, said short-haul air mobility is poised to be the next big area of growth for the Indian economy.

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