In the fixed-wing wing market, leasing aircraft is an established model. For over 30 years, airlines have chosen to lease a portion of their fleet from reputable lessors. This has proven benefits over outright purchase as operating leases provide valuable flexibility for operators and help maintain low debt-to-equity ratios.
International lessor Lease Corporation International has been a fixed-wing lessor for years and has now set up a specific helicopter leasing division with a brand new fleet of AgustaWestland aircraft. The common family of models (AW139, AW169, AW189) shares the same flight characteristics, safety features, and cockpit layout. It also offers the same design philosophy and maintenance concept whilst catering for a variety of helicopter needs from 4 to 8.5 tons. It is particularly ideal in terms of approach for the offshore oil & gas, search and rescue (SAR) and aero-medical transport sectors.
Advantages of the operating lease arrangement include no down payment, no residual risk and no loan balloon payments. Loan payments are replaced with fixed monthly rentals and operators can save their financing capacity for other lower risk uses. At the end of the lease, the lessor has full residual value risk and the lessee simply returns the helicopter. Importantly, this gives access to the latest technology with great flexibility. Short or long-term leases can be arranged according to individual needs with rates set according to equipment and duration of contract.
Explaining the rationale for the new service in rotary wing leasing, LCI comments:
“There is currently a high level of unfulfilled demand for new generation helicopters. With us, all lessees have a flexible operating lease solution and immediate access to the innovative, market-leading AgustaWestland aircraft.”
With new models available and greater need for rotary wing aircraft throughout the world, it certainly seems leasing is about to take off in the helicopter sector.