Leonardo's success in the private transport helicopter market in the UK and Ireland continues with the announcement by Sloane Helicopters (Sloane), Leonardo's distributor for the region, of new orders for two light twin-engine helicopters, a AW109 GrandNew and an AW109 Trekker, during an official ceremony held today at the EBACE 2023 (Geneva, 23-25 May). The contract confirms the continued demand in the UK market for the popular AW109 helicopter, which is the leader in its class.
David George, President of Sloane, said: “We are proud to further strengthen our long-standing partnership with Leonardo through the order of two additional helicopters. Eight new helicopters have been delivered since last EBACE and more are on the way: this rapid expansion demonstrates Sloane's commitment to Leonardo products and to the growth of the UK and Irish helicopter market. The addition of these two new aircraft further solidifies Leonardo's position as the leading manufacturer of private transport helicopters and we are honored to play a key role in this milestone."
Last July 2022 Sloane reconfirmed the distribution agreement with Leonardo for the period 2022-2024, relating to the AW109 GrandNew, Trekker and AW169 models. The partnership between Leonardo and Sloane began in 1995 with the first distribution agreement for VIP/corporate helicopters in the UK and Ireland. As part of this collaboration, nearly 110 Leonardo commercial helicopters have been delivered in the region to private operators and users. The distribution agreement has ensured continued benefits for customers, significantly reducing delivery times and guaranteeing them expertise and comprehensive support services, factors which also contribute to the maintenance of Leonardo's leadership in the executive and private transport sector in the UK and in Ireland, without forgetting the importance of other operational applications. This positioning was further strengthened following the launch of the new VIP Agusta brand at the end of 2021, with its exclusive features and brand new service offer.
Sloane also acts as an Authorized Service Center, providing maintenance and support services for most AW109 GrandNews and all VIP-configured AW169s in the area. Sloane Helicopters is also a Type Rating training center for Leonardo helicopters in the UK.
Overall, Leonardo's positioning in the UK and Irish private and corporate transport market has demonstrated solid performance over the past 12 months, with total orders for nearly 15 helicopters, including a mix of AW109 GrandNew/Trekker and five AW139, all scheduled for delivery between the second half of 2023 and 2025. For the AW139, these latest orders further build on the success of this class-leading model for private transport missions in the UK and Ireland, due to its maturity and reliability characteristics, combined with an unmatched high level of comfort and performance, bringing the total number of aircraft of this type flying in the region to nearly 20. In addition to the new orders, eight AW109s were delivered to the two countries in the last year, subject to contracts signed in previous years.