Milestone Aviation Group, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has inked an agreement for 16 EC225s—adding a sizable order to Eurocopter’s frenetic first day activities at Heli-Expo 2012 in Dallas. Milestone is a new company, just established in August 2010, but already with a fleet of 50 helicopters before the EC225 order and specializing in leasing and financing to quality operators worldwide. The founders, including NetJets founder and former CEO Richard Santulli, raised $500 million in equity seed capital to launch the business—and it has to date been a huge success.
“Leasing opportunities currently exist in Europe, Asia, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico,” noted a Eurocopter spokesman, “with the most obvious sector being oil and gas.” During the world economic downturn in orders before the beginning of the recovery last year, operators have discovered that leasing can be a risk mitigating option, at least for the short to medium term. Some operators have found it difficult to establish financing for the outright purchase of helicopters. This arrangement gives them an alternative.
The order is worth $480 million and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2013, spanning five years.
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