Leonardo and Shanghai Zenisun Investment Co., Ltd (Shanghai Zenisun) have announced that they will strengthen their strategic cooperation in the Chinese civil helicopter market by renewing the existing distributorship agreement with Sino-US Intercontinental, part of Shanghai Zenisun, as the sole distributor in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) of Leonardo’s civil products.
The parties say they will initiate joint efforts to set up local training and completion centres. Shanghai Zenisun is thus established as the preferred strategic cooperation partner of Leonardo for civil helicopter sales in China.
Chinese customers will benefit from local training and industrialization cooperation between Leonardo and Shanghai Zenisun. Sino-US Intercontinental has so far booked orders for over 80 helicopters comprising AW119Kx, GrandNew, AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopters.
Fifty-five emergency medical service helicopters (comprising the AW119Kx, AW169 and AW139) were ordered in 2016, establishing the largest EMS helicopter program nationwide in China.
Leonardo delivered a record 20+ helicopters to China last year. More than 180 helicopters have been sold to Chinese customers to date for commercial and public services.
In other news, Leonardo announced its first order on Japan’s corporate market, with an order from a private customer for an AgustaWestland AW139 in VIP configuration. The aircraft is expected to be handed over later this year. The current AW fleet in Japan numbers almost 120 aircraft.
Furthermore, the company and AW139 distributor in Japan Mitsui Bussan Aerospace announced the delivery from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility of four additional AW139s for firefighting and disaster relief duties to the Tokyo and Sapporo Fire Departments and to the Mie and Tochigi Prefecture Disaster Relief Departments, respectively.
Two helicopters have completed the mission customization in Japan and will enter into service shortly. The other two helicopters will complete the mission customization soon. These latest deliveries bring the total number of AW139s in Japan to more than 50.