Leasing joint venture SMFL LCI Helicopters (SMFLH) has ordered up to 21 new rotorcraft following an investment by its owners.

Backed by LCI and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, the lessor has placed a firm order for 14 rotorcraft, plus seven options, from Airbus Helicopters – a mix of H145 light-twins, H160 medium-twins and H175 medium-twins.

LCI fleet-c-Airbus Helicopters

Source: Airbus Helicopters

Latest order focuses on trio of Airbus Helicopters types

They will be offered to operators in the emergency medical services, search and rescue, and offshore energy segments.

Deliveries will run through to 2028. No financial details of the transaction or order breakdown were disclosed.

LCI says the latest agreement is the “next phase” in its Flight Path partnership with Airbus Helicopters “which aims to address the long-term capacity and financing requirements of the industry”.

Launched at the Heli-Expo event in February, Flight Path commits the pair to leverage “their combined knowledge, experience and analytical capabilities to identify the infrastructure and financial innovations” to address forecast demand for 16,000 new helicopters globally by 2041.

As an initial step, LCI ordered five H145s for the SMFLH joint venture, and was due to deliver another pair of H175s to its own customers.

Earlier this year, LCI also disclosed a commitment with Leonardo Helicopters – again for 21 aircraft, 10 firm and 11 options – comprising the AW169, AW139 and AW189. An undisclosed part of the order was to be allocated to SMFLH.

Sumitomo also holds a 35% stake in LCI following a deal announced in March 2023.