DUBLIN, Ireland –-- Milestone Aviation Group Limited (Milestone), a GECAS company and the global leader 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 Leonardo AW139 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 AW139 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 Leonardo helicopters in the world, leasing its first Leonardo helicopter in 2010. Its fleet will exceed 100 Leonardo helicopters following the completion of this transaction. Milestone’s relationship with Aramco began in 2016 with the lease of three new AW139s, then the energy company’s first helicopter lease transaction.
“We appreciate Aramco’s trust in Milestone and are delighted to enable this significant fleet renewal program with a uniquely tailored operating lease solution,” said Milestone President & CEO Daniel Rosenthal. “We credit our highly productive relationship with Leonardo and their very strong family of aircraft for allowing us to meet the complex introduction into service and operating requirements of the customer.”
“We are very pleased Aramco continued to put its trust in the AW139 to meet its helicopter needs,” said Leonardo Helicopters’ Managing Director Gian Piero Cutillo. “Likewise, we thank Milestone for their collaboration on this historic transaction and their long-standing relationship as the largest owner of Leonardo helicopters in the civil segment across many mission types. We look forward to working with their highly skilled technical team to bring this large and varied fleet into service for Aramco.”
One of the largest operators of Leonardo helicopters in the Middle East, Aramco has been operating a fleet of 14 AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters since 2008 and seven AW109 light twins since 2006, mainly to perform offshore transport missions in Saudi Arabia in support of the oil and gas industry.
With these new AW139s, 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 AW139 can perform a wide range of roles, and the 21 deliveries to Aramco will include oil and gas, and search and rescue (SAR) configurations.