DALLAS, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/12 -- Milestone Aviation Group and Eurocopter todayannounced an order for 16 EC225 aircraft. These aircraft are valued at EUR362 million (US $480 million) and will be delivered over five years,starting in 2013.
Eurocopter's embrace of a partnership with Milestone on the EC225 is amajor development for the helicopter industry. Since launching in August2010, Milestone has provided over US $500 million in finance to highquality operators around the world including Bristow, CHC and Inaer. NowMilestone can deliver increased value to its customers through timelydelivery slots for EC225 aircraft allowing its partners to bid on tenders.
Richard Santulli, Chairman of Milestone Aviation Group, said, "Thishistoric order enables Milestone to provide our customers with the bestaircraft and product options available. The EC225 has a great pedigree anda reputation for providing leadership in safety and high reliability indemanding operating conditions." He continued, "I leased all of theoriginal Super Pumas, the EC225's predecessor, delivered in North Americain the 1980s with my old company RTS Helicopters, so this deal signals theresumption of a very important partnership."
"The EC225 is a remarkable aircraft and we are excited to be able to offerit to a broader audience of potential operators through our partnershipwith Milestone," said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter's President and CEO. "Byremoving the capital hurdle associated with ownership we are hopeful thatwe can introduce the EC225 to more operators around the world."
Eurocopter's EC225 offers superior speed, range, payload, optimal safetyand reliability. Deployed worldwide for civil and military search andrescue, as well as off-shore and passenger transport missions, it is thelatest-generation member of the Super Puma/Cougar family, which has loggedmore than four million flight hours in operations around the globe.
The EC225 is perfectly adapted to missions in severe weather, as it isdesigned to meet the highest safety standard levels with system redundancy,a highly capable automatic flight control system, and the capability forfull deicing -- which allows flight in all known icing conditions.
When configured for offshore crew change operations in support of oil andgas producers, the EC225 can be rapidly converted for search and rescueoperations.
"We are honoured that Eurocopter has shown this trust in Milestone bypartnering on the EC225," said William Kelly, Milestone's CEO. "We lookforward to working closely with our partners as we place these helicopterswith high-quality operators around the world providing mission criticalservices in the oil and gas industry, parapublic services, mining andsearch and rescue."
About MILESTONE AVIATION GROUP
Milestone Aviation Group is the first global aircraft leasing companyexclusively focused on helicopters. Milestone's global aircraft leasingplatform addresses the liquidity needs of the market through 100% operatinglease financing. Since launching in August 2010, Milestone has leased morethan 40 aircraft valued at more than $500 million. Further information isavailable at www.milestoneaviation.com.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is adivision of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services.The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011,Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicoptermanufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 newhelicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublicsectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of theworldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong internationalpresence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries.Eurocopter's worldwide network of service centers, training facilities,distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There arecurrently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and militaryhelicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the mostimportant aspect of its business.
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