Airbus Signs Order with LCI and SMFL for 21 Latest Generation Helicopters 

Civil Aviation

Marignane. Airbus Helicopters, LCI, a leading aviation company, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL), have announced an order for up to 21 of the latest generation helicopters.

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The major new order from LCI and SMFL’s joint venture leasing operation, SMFL LCI Helicopters (SMFLH), consists of 14 firm orders plus 7 options. It is made up of a mix of light twin H145, medium twin H160 and super medium H175 helicopters.

The new helicopters will be delivered through to 2028 and will be aimed at a variety of operating segments such as emergency medical services (EMS),  search and rescue (SAR), and offshore energy, including wind.

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The order marks the next phase of the pioneering Flight Path partnership between LCI and Airbus Helicopters, which aims to address the long-term capacity and financing requirements of the industry in a responsible manner.

The new Airbus helicopters will offer superior performance, flexibility, and lower CO2 emissions than comparable types and other transportation modes. In addition, they will be equipped with the latest suite of navigational and safety features and will also be capable of using blended Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs).

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Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “We are delighted to announce our continued business with Airbus. The helicopter marketplace is facing a number of key capacity decisions as it looks to match supply with underlying demand requirements. This order for up to 21 latest generation helicopters reflects our combined determination to deliver solutions for operators and end users in a lasting, efficient and pragmatic way.”

Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, says: “This substantial new helicopter order from LCI and SMFL marks the next exciting phase of our Flight Path partnership, and aims to provide the required support, at the substantial scale needed, to the mission critical sector. With our combination of technical and financial innovation, and market knowledge and presence, I’m confident there will be many more chapters to come.”

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The Flight Path partnership builds upon a 20-year relationship between LCI and Airbus, and the initial phase will see the committed delivery of at least seven latest generation Airbus helicopters by 2025.

LCI and SMFL’s combined fleet currently includes over 40 Airbus helicopters. They are deployed by 12 operators in over 10 countries across the globe on a range of missions including EMS, SAR and offshore wind, all of which align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The new helicopters align with LCI and SMFL’s long-term commitment to sustainable growth.  LCI is a signatory of Aircraft Leasing Ireland’s (ALI) Sustainability Charter, with a commitment to driving forward and achieving responsibility goals, centred around 10 priority sustainability principles, including a commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.