25-May-2023 Source: Leonardo
Leonardo’s continued success in the UK and Ireland VIP/corporate helicopter market expands as its regional distributor, Sloane, announced orders for one AW109 GrandNew and one AW109 Trekker light twin during an official ceremony held at EBACE 2023 (Geneva, 23-25 May). The contract clearly demonstrates the strong continued market demand in the UK for the popular class-leading AW109.
David George, Chairman of Sloane Helicopters, said: “We are proud to further strengthen our longstanding partnership with Leonardo through the order of two more airframes. With eight new helicopters delivered since the last EBACE and more to come, this rapid expansion exemplifies Sloane’s commitment to both the Leonardo products and growth of the UK & Ireland helicopter market. The addition of these two airframes further solidifies Leonardo’s position as the leading helicopter manufacturer in the VIP/Corporate market and we are honoured to play a key role in this attainment.”
In July 2022, Sloane confirmed its Distributor Agreement for the 2022-2024 timeframe, covering both types and the AW169 light intermediate twin model. The long-term success between Sloane Helicopters and Leonardo was established in 1995, when Sloane became the sole distributor of Leonardo VIP/corporate helicopter in the UK and Ireland. Under this collaboration, nearly 110 Leonardo commercial helicopters have been delivered to operators and private users in the UK and Ireland. The Distributorship Agreement has provided customers with continued benefits by dramatically reducing delivery times and providing customers with product expertise and a full range of support packages, which also helps Leonardo to maintain its position as leader in the executive/private transport market in the UK and Ireland, among other applications. This has been further reinforced following the launch of the new Agusta VIP brand in late 2021 with its exclusive features and all-new service offer.
Sloane Helicopters is also an Authorised Service Centre, providing maintenance and support services for the majority of GrandNew and all AW169 VIP helicopters in the region. Additionally, Sloane Helicopters is a Type Rating Training centre for Leonardo helicopters in the UK.
Overall, the position of Leonardo in the segment in the region has shown solid performance over the last 12 months with total orders for nearly 15 helicopters in UK and Ireland including a mix of AW109GrandNew/Trekker and five AW139 intermediate twins, all with deliveries expected in the 2H 2023-2025 period. Regarding the AW139, those latest orders further expand the success of the best-in-class twin engine intermediate helicopter for Private/Corporate transport missions in UK and Ireland, thanks to its maturity and reliability characteristics, combined with high level of comfort and unrivaled performance, bringing the total number of aircraft of this type flying in the region to nearly 20. In addition to the new orders, over the last year eight AW109s from previous contracts were delivered in these two countries.