Leonardo Helicopters (Booth C3225) won an order for 26 helicopters worth more than $147 million from Chinese distributor Sino-US Intercontinental Helicopter Investment on Tuesday at Heli-Expo 2018. The deal is for seven AW119Kx singles, 15 AW109 Trekker light twins, and four AW139 intermediate twins.
Through the Sino-US partnership, Leonardo has developed a strong position in the China EMS market. Leonardo has sold 110 helicopters of various types to Sino-US, with 50 of those flying in 36 provinces throughout China.
“We are very honored to be the national distributor with the best performance. Sino-US will keep working with Leonardo Helicopters closely, and we view a bright future for the Chinese helicopter industry by joining forces,” said Sino-US chairman Shuping He.
Meanwhile, Leonardo also announced that the worldwide fleet of 900 AW139s has exceeded two million flight hours. The helicopter is built both in the U.S. and Italy, serving a customer base that includes offshore transportation, EMS, search and rescue, government agencies, and VIP operators.
“We expect from now on to double from two million and soon enough to four million. It’s an important milestone for all of us,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, who was appointed Leonardo's managing director four months ago.
“I don’t think that there are many products that can easily achieve such kind of results,” he said. “It has been possible because it’s a helicopter that does everything and goes everywhere. Some say it lasts forever. The AW139 has become our benchmark.”