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Leonardo and Sloane enhance partnership in UK and Ireland

Leonardo and Sloane have announced a major reinforcement of their collaboration in the UK and Ireland commercial helicopter market at Heli-Expo 2024, with the signing of Preliminary Sales Contracts for nine AW09 next-generation single engine aircraft and new orders for two AW109 Grand New and two AW109 Trekker light twins at Heli-Expo 2024.

Image courtesy Leonardo 

The Preliminary Sales Contracts for the AW09 add Sloane to the number of global partners who have chosen the all-new type. Sloane joins the consensus around the AW09 programme and market potential and, as established European distributors of Leonardo helicopters, are intending to extend their collaboration and distributorship mandates to include the AW09 continent wide. With this latest achievement, the AW09 world market success extends to UK and Ireland following announcements of partnerships and distribution agreements already made in North and Latin America, Africa and Asia in 2023, some leading to end-user orders. The total number of Preliminary Sales Contracts will soon exceed 100 units globally.

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David George, Chairman of Sloane, said: “On the back of record AW109 deliveries we are excited to embark on the next step of our journey with Leonardo with the AW09, an all-new airframe which represents a technological leap forward in the single turbine market. I was present at the AW09’s initial ground runs some 10 years ago, and look forward to introducing the UK and Ireland market to its class leading characteristics. We are confident it will become the benchmark aircraft in its category, along with our current Leonardo offerings.”

The AW09 complements Leonardo’s product range in the Long Light Single-segment, introducing an all-new design aircraft to sustain long-term competitive positioning in this weight category. A full-scale mock-up of the cabin, together with the advanced connectivity and digital features of the type, is on display at Heli-Expo.

The AW109 series continue to be highly popular in Sloane’s reference markets particularly for VIP/Corporate transport. As the Leonardo’s regional distributor, Sloane has taken delivery of a total 14 AW109s in the 2022-2023 period and plans to receive six more this year. Under the latest order for four new AW109s, deliveries are expected to be performed in 2025 and 2026.  

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, over 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 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.

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 is a Type Rating Training centre for Leonardo helicopters in the UK.

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