Milestone Aviation Provides $230 Million Secured Debt Facility to Bristow Group

Dublin, Ireland, February 2, 2017 – Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services (“GECAS”) company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today a commitment letter with Bristow Group Inc. (“Bristow”), a leading provider of global industrial aviation services. Under the agreement, Milestone is providing a $230 million secured term loan facility to a subsidiary of Bristow, secured by a pool of Bristow’s helicopter assets. As part of the agreement, Bristow will extend select Sikorsky S-92 leases with Milestone, and Milestone will also defer lease rentals on select Airbus H225 assets on lease to Bristow.

“Bristow is a world leader in industrial aviation and our long-time partner, and this funding agreement symbolizes GE and Milestone’s confidence in the Bristow strategy and management team,” said Milestone President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Rosenthal. “We take great pride in our ability to create innovative solutions to best serve the operators we work with, and as part of GE, we are very pleased that we can continue to be a key contributor of capital to helicopter operators. We understand the challenges that exist in the current environment, and we look forward to continuing to ensure the long-term success of the global helicopter industry.”

“Milestone has been our primary lessor since 2012, and this agreement is another example of the continued strength of their commitment to Bristow Group,” said Jonathan Baliff, Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout our relationship, they have worked creatively and flexibly to structure lease solutions best suited for our business, and with the backing of GE they now have the capability to support our business objectives by providing us with significant financial flexibility, as an important alternative to traditional banking capital.”

 

About Milestone Aviation

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing and financing company. Milestone has a fleet of over 225 helicopters worth US $3.9 billion plus debt commitments of approximately $400 million. The company has a forward order book of firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price in excess of US $3 billion. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide, providing a wide array of financial and productivity solutions, including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, engine leasing and fleet advisory. The company supports 34 customers in 26 countries serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

 

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With 50 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 25 offices. www.gecas.com

 

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

 

 

Media Contact for Milestone:

Nathan Riggs

Kekst and Company

+1-212-521-4804

nathan.riggs@kekst.com

Milestone Aviation Names Daniel Rosenthal President and CEO

Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2016 — Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services company (“GECAS”) and the global leader in helicopter leasing, today announced that President Daniel Rosenthal has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2017. Richard Santulli, GE Officer and Milestone Chairman, will leave GE but continue to serve Milestone in an advisory capacity.

Rosenthal, 41, has spent most of his career in leadership positions at some of the most innovative organizations in the aviation industry. In 2009, he co-founded Milestone, the first global helicopter leasing company. He previously spent four years at NetJets, where he held various leadership roles.

“Dan has been an outstanding company president and a strong leader since GE acquired Milestone in 2015, and this appointment reflects the great value he continues to create for Milestone and its partners,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO of GECAS. “Milestone is the leader in helicopter financing because of the dedication Dan and his entire talented management team bring to their work serving customers and partners around the world. As the global helicopter industry continues to evolve, I am confident that Dan and his team have the skills and experience Milestone will need to continue as the industry leader.”

Santulli, 72, is a visionary entrepreneur, businessman, and founding father of two major aviation industries. In 1986, he launched the first-ever fractional aircraft program, which he later named NetJets, and in 2009 he left NetJets to co-found Milestone.

“One of the greatest fortunes of my life was meeting Richard Santulli nearly 13 years ago,” said Rosenthal. “It has been an honor to learn from Rich both at NetJets and as we built Milestone and established a critical new industry. Rich is an industry icon and set the standard for all of us at Milestone by creating a world-class culture for customers and employees. Looking forward, we will always carry with us his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to providing our customers with creative aircraft financing solutions through unparalleled customer service. Beyond the business side, Rich is a close confidante, mentor and friend, and I’m delighted that he will continue as a Milestone advisor.”

“It has been a pleasure working alongside Dan to build Milestone,” said Santulli. “Together, he and the rest of our talented management team have created an incredible company committed to serving the needs of our customers and partners around the world. As company president, Dan’s day-to-day leadership since joining GE Capital has ensured that Milestone stayed true to our core values. This is the right time for me to move into an advisory role and pursue other business opportunities, and I know Dan will continue to lead the company in our tradition of creative, flexible service to our clients.”

“Milestone has succeeded because it has always put its customers and partners first,” said Burger. “On behalf of GE, I want to express our gratitude to Rich for building a truly unique company with a powerful, customer-focused culture. The creative and entrepreneurial approach he instilled in Milestone will continue to drive its success and is an inspiration to the entire GE Capital team.”

Daniel Rosenthal Biography

About Milestone Aviation Group
Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of over 215 helicopters worth US $3.7 billion and supports 32 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $3.2 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease and debt financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 26 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

Media Contact for Milestone:

Nathan Riggs
Kekst and Company
+1-212-521-4804
nathan-riggs@kekst.com

Bell Helicopter and Milestone Aviation Support Airlink Relief Efforts in Haiti Following Hurricane Matthew

Fort Worth, TX and Norwalk, CT November 3, 2016 – Helicopters are once again proving their worth in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, and three firms – Bell Helicopter, Airlink and GE – have combined efforts to match helicopter capability with the essential need to transport aid workers and supplies to regions in Haiti inaccessible by any other means.

Shortly after the disaster hit the island, Airlink reached out to its aviation partners searching for helicopters. Airlink is an experienced rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that brings together airlines with pre-qualified non-profits. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), a supporter of Airlink since its founding in 2010, connected Airlink with Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing company that GECAS purchased in 2015.

Milestone’s team quickly surveyed its network of helicopter operators and manufacturers and was delighted when Bell Helicopter stepped up to provide two helicopters and crew for relief missions in Haiti. With the newly available lift provided by Bell Helicopter, Airlink scheduled a second charter flight to Haiti with 175,000 pounds of supplies, which Bell’s team will distribute to remote areas of the island.

“GE has a history of mobilizing resources across our businesses during critical times of need,” said Robert Green, Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital. “I am very proud of our GECAS and Milestone teams who worked together to provide value-added support to Airlink through our aviation networks.” GE Capital is providing financial support for Airlink’s mission in Haiti in addition to annual financial support provided by GECAS.

“When Milestone learned of Airlink’s critical need to reach remote locations inaccessible by ground infrastructure, we immediately began to work with our industry partners to identify available helicopters,” said Lauren Norelli, Milestone’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development. “Bell Helicopter responded to our outreach without hesitation and worked diligently with Airlink to review operational requirements and mobilize two helicopters and crew to Haiti.”

“We are thankful to Milestone for highlighting this much needed helicopter mission and introducing us to Airlink,” said JJ Cawelti, Bell Helicopter’s Senior Manager of Global Public Affairs. “Helicopters are a uniquely capable asset and we are proud to bring our Bell 412EP and Bell 429 aircraft to this important mission supporting Airlink and numerous other nonprofit organizations that are providing critical humanitarian aid in Haiti.”

Created in 2010 by the leadership of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation, Airlink is a rapid-response disaster relief organization that links airlines with pre-qualified NGOs to transport aid workers and cargo to locales around the globe in humanitarian crisis. The organization has been coordinating transportation assistance since Hurricane Matthew hit early in October.

Following the hurricane, GE Foundation, GE Capital and other GE businesses have contributed more than $750,000 to the Haiti relief effort, including financial donations and water purification equipment. GE’s financial aid has been provided through Airlink, Hope for Haiti, Team Rubicon, Americares and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation.

About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Milestone Aviation Group
Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of over 215 helicopters worth US $3.7 billion and supports 32 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $3.2 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease and debt financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing. With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting. GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~ 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 25 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

Bell Helicopter Media Contact:
Amanda Gerards
+1 405 317 5785
agerards@bh.com

Milestone Media Contact:
Nathan Riggs
of Kekst and Company
+1-212-521-4804
nathan-riggs@kekst.com

Milestone Aviation Contributes to Growth of EMS Capabilities In China With Lease of Two Airbus H130 Helicopters to Mit Group’s Hems999

Dublin, Ireland, October [26], 2016 – Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has leased two new Airbus H130 helicopters to HEMS999 Company Ltd. (“HEMS999”), a Chinese air ambulance operator subsidiary of MIT Group, to support emergency medical service operations in China’s Shandong Province.

“There is currently a substantial unmet need for helicopter emergency medical services in China, and this partnership with HEMS999 represents an exciting opportunity for Milestone to enter a new region with significant opportunities for growth and development,” said Milestone President Daniel Rosenthal. “Milestone is committed to forging long-term relationships with our customers and partners all around the world, and we take great pride in supporting life-saving operations in China. We are pleased that we could work with Airbus to provide HEMS999 with these aircraft.”

“Shandong is experiencing a sharp rise in motor vehicles, as well as an expansion in highway infrastructure, and air ambulance services are needed now more than ever before in what is China’s second most populous province,” said Gai Fang, President of the MIT Group. “Milestone and Airbus Helicopters have been great partners as we work to establish HEMS999 as the country’s first provincial HEMS network covering traffic accidents, and we greatly value Milestone’s ability to support our expansion needs by providing an optimal lease solution.”

The two H130 aircraft should begin conducting missions within the next few months. Milestone reached this lease agreement with MIT Group in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters. Airbus Helicopters previously announced a purchase agreement with MIT Group to provide HEMS999 with seven H130 helicopters for use in emergency medical services and rescues for road and highway accidents across Shandong.

About Milestone Aviation Group:
Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of over 215 helicopters worth US $3.7 billion and supports 32 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $3.2 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease and debt financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 26 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

Media Contact for Milestone:

Nathan Riggs
of Kekst and Company
+1-212-521-4804
nathan-riggs@kekst.com

Milestone Aviation to support enhanced EMS operations in Australia with lease of Leonardo AW139 to LifeFlight

Dublin, Ireland and Brisbane, Australia, October 24, 2016 – Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has recently leased a new, EMS equipped Leonardo AW139 helicopter to LifeFlight (formerly known as CareFlight) to support emergency medical services (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR) missions in Queensland, Australia.

“We are delighted to add to our global EMS fleet through this new partnership with LifeFlight,” said Milestone President Daniel Rosenthal. “LifeFlight is a skilled operator who has been providing lifesaving services to the people of Australia for 35 years and is trusted as the major provider of helicopter-based EMS and SAR services to the Queensland Health department. Milestone is proud to lease the largest fleet of life-saving helicopters in the industry, and this partnership is reflective of our commitment to provide unparalleled support to EMS and SAR operators around the world. We are honored to aid LifeFlight in their critical mission to save lives in Queensland.”

“The introduction of the third state-of-the-art AW139 into our fleet marks an important milestone in our ongoing modernization efforts, helping us to deliver our expanded services faster and more efficiently than ever before,” said Ashley van de Velde, Director and CEO of LifeFlight. “Milestone was creative and flexible in structuring a lease solution that ideally suited our needs, allowing us to introduce new technology to our RACQ LifeFlight Rescue fleet. We look forward to greatly enhancing the services we provide to the people of Queensland as we work to save lives – anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

Notes to Editors:

About Milestone Aviation Group:
Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of over 215 helicopters worth US $3.7 billion and supports 32 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $3.2 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease and debt financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft (~1,700 fixed wing/ ~250 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves ~270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 26 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

About LifeFlight
LifeFlight is one of Australia’s largest aeromedical charities providing rapid response medical care to thousands of people each year. It integrates its own staff of critical care doctors, paramedics and nurses with helicopters and Air Ambulance jets to provide the finest care to seriously sick and injured patients across Australia and around the globe.

Media Contact for Milestone:

Nathan Riggs
of Kekst and Company
+1-212-521-4804
nathan-riggs@kekst.com

Media Contact for LifeFlight:
Ian Eckersley
Communications and Public Relations Manager
61 7 3037 2223
Ian.eckersley@lifeflight.org.au

Milestone Aviation Group Announces Expanded Commercial Team

Eight New Commercial Executives Hired and Five New Offices Opened in Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, and Singapore

DUBLIN, September 28, 2015 – Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) company headquartered in Dublin and the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has expanded its commercial team with eight newly hired executives and increased its international presence in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.

Milestone has enhanced its global rotary market presence by opening five new offices in Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and Singapore in addition to its long-standing office in Columbus and its headquarters in Dublin. The expansion aims to get Milestone closer to its customers to serve them better.

“We view this investment in our team and enhancement of our global reach as differentiating factors that enable us to serve customers better, seize even greater opportunities, and further diversify our business both geographically and vertically,” said Milestone President Daniel Rosenthal.

Milestone’s global commercial organization is now structured into two regional components: Europe & the Americas; and Emerging Markets. Under the new organizational structure, Walter Horsting has assumed the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial – Europe & Americas, and Jonty Nel, who joins Milestone from GECAS, assumes the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial – Emerging Markets. Horsting and Nel report directly to Executive Vice President, Commercial, Robert Thor Dranitzke.

“Our expanded team will improve the customized service and financing solutions we offer to our customers,” said Dranitzke. “The addition of these eight senior aviation executives will further drive our marketing efforts by helping us get even closer to our customers to better understand their needs and build stronger relationships and partnerships.”

In addition to Mr. Nel, the new hires include a talented team of seven senior executives with extensive experience at helicopter manufacturers, helicopter operators, oil companies, and O&G consulting groups, as well as over 35 years combined experience in military aviation. These executives will report to Messrs. Horsting and Nel, and have responsibility for defined geographies within the two regions.

Europe and the Americas

  • Vice President Commercial, Continental Europe: Sebastien Moulin
  • Vice President Commercial, Northern Europe & Canada: John Parnell
  • Vice President Commercial, Latin America & Caribbean: Francois Arnaud
  • Vice President Commercial, United States:             Scott Fitzgerald

Emerging Markets

  • Vice President Commercial, Northern Asia & Russia: Stephanie Tovoli
  • Vice President Commercial, Southern Asia Pacific & Central Asia Brett Rankin
  • Vice President Commercial, Turkey, India, Middle East, Africa: Michael York

 

About Milestone Aviation Group

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services Company, is the world’s leading commercial helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of 191 helicopters worth US $3.4 billion and supports 33 operators in 27 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of 154 firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $3.2 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease and debt financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrow-bodies, wide-bodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 2,150 aircraft (~1,840 fixed wing/ ~310 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~400 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 25 offices. (www.gecas.com)

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. (www.ge.com)

Media Contacts:

Eric Berman / Nathan Riggs

of Kekst and Company

+1-212-521-4894 / +1-212-521-4804

eric-berman@kekst.com / nathan-riggs@kekst.com

Milestone Aviation Group to Acquire 28 H175 Airbus Helicopters

  • Represents largest customer commitment for Airbus’ new super-medium-lift rotorcraft
  • Agreement marks new step in Airbus Helicopters-Milestone Aviation Group relationship

Le Bourget, France, 15 June, 2015 – Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group, and Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that Milestone has increased its combined orders and options to a total of 28 H175s, the largest order for Airbus’ new super-medium-lift twin-engine rotorcraft.

“We have full confidence in the Airbus Helicopters’ leadership team and are delighted to expand our relationship with the introduction of the H175 to our fleet,” said Richard Santulli, Milestone’s Chairman. “The H175 is well-aligned with our commitment to offering the most innovative product solutions for our customers.”

“Today’s H175 order is illustrative of the Milestone team’s sharp focus on long-term industry growth,” said Daniel Rosenthal, Milestone’s President. “We have been impressed by the H175’s successful introduction into service and felt it was the appropriate time to further our commitment to the aircraft.”

Airbus Helicopters’ H175 was designed to meet the most demanding oil and gas industry transportation requirements, offering new levels of comfort with the largest cabin in its class, as well as low in-flight vibration and noise levels. The rotorcraft provides highly cost-efficient service, with a capacity of up to 18 passengers, low fuel consumption and the range to reach a large percentage of the world’s offshore installations.

“This latest agreement builds on our outstanding relationship with Milestone, who owns one of the most valuable Airbus civilian helicopter fleets in operation and on order in the world,” said Guillaume Faury, the President & CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “It also reinforces the H175 as an aircraft of choice in the super-medium category.”

The H175 entered service last December and is demonstrating high availability in more than 900 flight hours performed by customers to date, while also confirming the rotorcraft’s designed-in maintainability – which is backed by Airbus Helicopters’ support and services. It is certified to the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the helicopter and the new Helionix®  avionics  suite  –  providing  increased  safety  through  reduced  pilot  workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.

Contributing to the H175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels.

Excellent power performance for the H175 includes hover out of ground effect (HOGE) with a

maximum 7.5-metric-ton take-off weight at 5,800 ft. at ISA+20°C conditions; one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hoisting for search and rescue missions; and extensive power reserve ensuring heli-deck performance (PC1) at maximum take-off weight in ISA+20°C conditions.

The helicopter’s radius-of-action in an oil and gas mission configuration enables 16 passengers to be transported to offshore rigs at distances of 140 nautical miles (NM.) on crew change flights, extending to nearly 200 NM. when 12 passengers are carried. Further certification of the H175 at an increased maximum take-off weight of 7,800 kg. will offer operators the ability to further expand the radius-of-action by 40 NM., or to carry 300 kg. of additional payload

The H175 is a perfect complement to Airbus Helicopters’ heavy-lift H225 (formerly known as the EC225), which is deployed worldwide by oil and gas airlift service providers. As a tandem offered only by Airbus Helicopters, the H175 and H225 are able to support the oil and gas sector’s development in terms of both range and payload.

 

About Milestone Aviation Group

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services Company, is the world’s leading commercial helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of 187 helicopters worth US $3.2 billion and supports 33 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of 117 firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $2.4 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets/props, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 2,200 aircraft (1,900 fixed wing/300 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional 400 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 24 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com

About Airbus Helicopters (www.airbushelicopters.com)

Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.

For more information, please contact:

For Airbus Helicopters 

Yves Barillé

Tel: + 33 (0)4 42 85 50 94

Mob: + 33 (0)6 07 23 49 35

yves.barille@airbus.com

 

 

Gloria Illas

Tel: + 33 (0)4 42 85 58 89

Mob: +33 (0) 6 31 47 08 99

gloria.illas@airbus.com

 

 

 

Erin CallenderTel: + 33 (0)4 42 85 51 31

Mob: + 33 (0)6 72 86 68 03

Erin.callender@airbus.com

 

For Milestone

Eric Berman / Nathan Riggs

of Kekst and Company

+1-212-521-4894 / +1-212-521-4804

eric-berman@kekst.com / nathan-riggs@kekst.com

 

Bell Helicopter and Milestone Aviation Group Sign LOI for 20 Bell 525 Relentless As Aircraft Continues to Gain Traction across Globe

Paris, France (June 15, 2015) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company announced today plans to move forward with a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire 20 Bell 525 Relentless helicopters. These aircraft will serve a variety of roles with Milestone’s lessees around the world, including oil and gas, emergency medical service, search and rescue, and utility opportunities. Delivery of aircraft to Milestone is expected to begin in late 2017.

“We are very pleased to announce our first order with Bell Helicopter,” said Milestone’s Chairman, Richard Santulli. “With the 525, our customers will benefit from the newest fly-by-wire technology and its mission versatility.”

“Milestone is committed to building long-term relationships with industry leaders that deliver value for our customers,” said Daniel Rosenthal, Milestone’s President. “By securing future delivery positions for the Bell 525, we are continuing to demonstrate our strong commitment to that goal.”

“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Milestone by signing this agreement. Milestone Aviation, owns one of the world’s largest commercial helicopter fleets and we are delighted they have placed their trust in this aircraft.” said President and CEO of Bell Helicopter, John Garrison. “As the first helicopter to define the super-medium class, the Bell 525 provides Milestone with an aircraft able to perform a diverse set of missions in the most demanding conditions.”

The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft integrates critical systems data to be easily accessible at-a-glance with the first fully-integrated touch screen flight deck designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H®. Best-in-class payload, cabin, cargo volumes, comfort and egress complement the technological advancements on the aircraft. The Bell 525 is being tested in Bell Helicopter’s fully integrated System Integration Lab (SIL), allowing for virtual flight testing of the Bell 525 before first flight, which is scheduled for spring 2015.

 

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For Milestone:

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About Milestone Aviation Group

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services Company, is the world’s leading commercial helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of 187 helicopters worth US $3.2 billion and supports 33 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of 117 firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $2.4 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. www.milestoneaviation.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets/props, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 2,200 aircraft (1,900 fixed wing/300 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional 400 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 24 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com

About Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited tothe efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; performance issues with key suppliers or subcontractors; difficult conditions in the financial markets which may adversely impact our customers’ ability to fund or finance purchases of our products; continued demand softness or volatility in the  markets in which we do business; and changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders.

Milestone Confirms Orders for Three More AW139s

Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced today that Milestone Aviation Group has signed a firm order for three additional AW139s that will be made available for lease to Milestone’s customers and operators globally. This contract is part of a multi-year commitment signed in September 2013 by Milestone Aviation to purchase up to 45 AgustaWestland helicopters and brings the total number of orders by Milestone to 18.

The AW139 is the first helicopter to enter service with a 60+ minute “run dry” capability in the main gear box, delivering improved safety for offshore operations. With an increase in the alternate maximum gross weight to 7 tonne, operators will also benefit from up to 700 kg of additional payload. In an offshore configuration, the 7 tonne AW139 can reach a 230 nm radius of action with eight passengers while retaining key operating and performance features.

Customers of Milestone Aviation Group, a global helicopter finance and leasing company owned by GE Capital Aviation Services, will benefit from the commonalities across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 Family of new generation helicopters spanning the 4 to 8-tonne weight classes. Sharing a common design approach and cockpit, complying with the latest safety and certification standards and with maintenance and training commonalities, the Family concept offers a range of benefits to operators of more than one type.

To date, over 220 customers have ordered more than 900 AW139 helicopters, making it the market leader in its class. With the large number of orders for the AW189 and AW169 the Family concept has found rapid market success with orders for two out of three or all three types from a number of major large fleet operators also including Bristow Group, Bond Aviation Group, Bel Air, Gulf Helicopters, INAER, Weststar Aviation Services and Era. The AW189 and AW169 have each exceeded 150 orders to customers worldwide.

MILESTONE AVIATION GROUP EXPANDS GLOBAL OPERATIONS AND ENHANCES FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY FOLLOWING ACQUISITION BY GE CAPITAL 

– New Offices to Open in Asia, South America and Middle East/Africa; Expansion in Europe –

– Increased Financial Strength after GE Capital Acquisition –

ORLANDO, Florida, March 2, 2015 –Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing announced today at Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo that the company is expanding its international presence into three new regions – Asia, South America and the Middle East/Africa – while also growing its European staffing.

Milestone will be opening offices this year in Singapore; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the United Arab Emirates, while continuing to grow its team in Europe. The company plans to add over 20 employees in the near term with a focus on increasing its global marketing efforts and better serving its customers. This global expansion is consistent with GE Capital’s growth strategy. The company currently serves its clients globally from its existing offices in Ireland and the United States.

“Milestone continues to lead the helicopter leasing industry by remaining steadfast in our commitment to customers and partners, and by offering the most innovative product solutions and services in the world,” said Milestone President Daniel Rosenthal. “By investing in our team and enhancing our global reach, we will be able to better serve our existing customers around the world, grow in new geographies and forge relationships with new customers providing mission-critical services to emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue (SAR), and other utility and government missions, as well as offshore oil and gas.”

In addition to its global expansion, Milestone announced that with the successful completion of its acquisition by GE Capital Aviation Services in January, it repaid the overwhelming majority of its outstanding debt. Going forward, Milestone will largely be funded by GE intercompany sources, giving the company increased financial strength, flexibility and enhanced customer service capability as it expands globally.

“By paying down substantially all of our external debt and with the strength of the GE balance sheet behind us, Milestone will have a greater capability to capitalize on opportunities in the market and better serve our customers around the world,” said Milestone Chief Financial Officer Colin Golden.

About Milestone Aviation Group 

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services Company, is the world’s leading commercial helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of 178 helicopters worth US $3.0 billion and supports 33 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of 121 firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $2.7 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions. Further information is available at www.milestoneaviation.com.

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) GECAS is the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE. It is the global leader in aircraft financing, offering the widest range of aircraft types from helicopters to wide body jets and financing options including operating leases and secured debt financing. With 40+ years of industry experience, GECAS currently leases more than 1,570 aircraft to over 235 customers in 75 countries and also provides productivity solutions including spare engine leasing, aviation consulting services, and spare parts financing and management. A unit of GE Capital, GECAS stays close to its customers with offices in 24 cities around the world. (www.GECAS.com)
GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com

Media Contacts for Milestone:

Eric Berman / Nathan Riggs of Kekst and Company

+1 212-521-4894 / +1 212-521-4804

eric-berman@kekst.com / nathan-riggs@kekst.com