Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland and Weststar General Aviation are pleased to announce that a contract for three helicopters, one AW119Kx, one GrandNew and one AW169, was signed today at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2015 by Vincenzo Alaimo, Managing Director of AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Weststar Group’s Managing Director. The signing was witnessed by Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Defence Minister of Malaysia. With this order, Weststar Group will now start operating AgustaWestland helicopters also for executive/corporate transport services through its subsidiary Weststar General Aviation Sdn Bhd, after years of successful offshore missions with the AW139 and, more recently, the AW189.
The three helicopters ordered are, each in their respective category, spanning from the single engine to the light intermediate twin, the best for corporate transport thanks to excellent performance, comfort and safety features. This additional order by one of the major private aviation operators in the area confirms the growing success of AgustaWestland in the Malaysian helicopter market. This latest contract brings the total number of AgustaWestland helicopters that will be operated by the Weststar Group to 40.
When interviewed at the MOU signing, Tan Sri Syed Azman said, “We are seeing a new demand trend taking shape at the top of the business aviation supply chain.
The helicopter charter services market is growing, both in applications and the demand for certain types of helicopters.”
“While Weststar General Aviation is continuing on a strong growth path, we want to double our current footprint in the charter services market. This is an enlightened initiative to boost our market share. Our diverse and expansive fleet composition in itself is an innovation to our services,” elaborated Syed Azman.
Syed Azman pointed out that an array of modern features equipped in this new generation helicopters is an expedient strategy tool to tackle a vastly growing market. Further, Weststar General Aviation’s sister company, Weststar Aviation Services has had great success in the oil and gas offshore helicopter transportation industry benefitting from the commonality in design and familiarity of AgustaWestland’s latest generation of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters.
Syed Azman explained, “Currently, in the corporate transportation market segment, these types of aircraft are in high demand. It is a timely expansion for us. We want to offer depth in the selection of our charter aircraft to cater to every need, application and mission. With this purchase, it will help us to break ground on new markets as we plan to take our services regionally.”
Weststar is the first operator in Asia of the new generation AW189 super medium class helicopter that can carry up to 19 passengers. Weststar has been operating the AW139 in operations to support the oil and gas industry in Malaysia since April 2011 and more recently in Thailand and several African nations. While already operating the AW139 and AW169, Weststar Aviation Services will be the first operator worldwide to introduce into service the complete AgustaWestland family of new generation helicopters after receiving its first AW189 helicopter at a delivery ceremony held earlier at the trade exhibition. The state-of-the-art AW189 helicopter is one out of four Weststar Aviation Services had ordered at the previous LIMA’13.
AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of AgustaWestland, continues to play a major role in the Malaysian helicopter market expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through a continued programme of investment. The Company’s headquarters, maintenance, support and training facilities are located at Kuala Lumpur’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. AgustaWestland Malaysia is a Malaysian DCA approved maintenance and repair organization and also home to one of Agustawestland’s four training academies.
Weststar General Aviation Sdn Bhd provides a comprehensive range of general aviation services. Catering to various corporate organizations and industries, Weststar General Aviation offers a thorough scope of aviation services including Corporate VIP/VVIP transport, aerial photography & videography, powerline/pipeline inspection, timber survey and medical/emergency evacuation. In addition, Weststar General Aviation also carries out disaster humanitarian missions in times of need.