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Leonardo-Milestone Aviation: contract for 21 AW-139 helicopters

For the renewal of the Saudi Aramco fleet

Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), a GECAS company and the global reference in helicopter leasing, and Leonardo today announce they have been selected to renew the medium helicopter fleet of Aramco Overseas Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco (“Aramco”) – a fully integrated, global petroleum and chemicals enterprise. Leonardo and Milestone have signed a contract for 17 AW-139 helicopters plus 4 options, and Aramco expects to take delivery of a total of 21 aircraft over the next three years, starting this year.

Aramco awarded the contract to Milestone and Leonardo through a competitively tendered process. Milestone’s financial stability, the outstanding capabilities of the modern and proven AW-139 and ability of both partners to deliver were key to meeting the needs of the program. Further, Milestone’s leasing solution encompassing the entire medium fleet presented a compelling solution, enabling the energy company to invest in their operations.

Milestone is the largest owner or financier of civil industry helicopters in the world, leasing its first Leonardo helicopter in 2010. Its fleet will exceed 100 units following the completion of this transaction. Milestone’s relationship with Aramco began in 2016 with the lease of three new AW-139s, then the energy company’s first helicopter lease transaction.

"One of the largest operators of Leonardo helicopters in the Middle East, Aramco has been operating a fleet of 14 AW-139 intermediate twin engine helicopters since 2008 and seven AW-109 light twins since 2006, mainly to perform off-shore transport missions in Saudi Arabia in support of the oil and gas industry. With these new AW-139s, Aramco’s fleet renewal program ensures the operator maintains advanced technology, class leading performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cabin space. The aircraft has outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, even in hot and high operating conditions, making it ideally suited for Aramco’s operations. The AW-139 can perform a wide range of roles, and the 21 deliveries to Aramco will include oil and gas, and search and rescue (SAR) configurations", according to a note issued by the industry.

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