Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Dec Jan2011 2012. Contents Malaysia's Weststar buys
AgustaWestland has signed a contract with Weststar Aviation Services for
the sale of ten helicopters to the Malaysian company.
The deal covers five AW139s configured for offshore transport,
one AW139 for VIP transport, two AW169s and two AW189s. The
contract, valued at about US$150 million, was signed on 7 December
by Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar,
and AgustaWestland Chief Executive Bruno Spagnolini at the Langkawi
International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia.
Weststar will be the first operator worldwide to benefit from the
commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family
of new-generation helicopters. As well as possessing the same high
performance flight characteristics and safety features, the helicopters
share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance
concepts, offering more efficient operations for customers with helicopter
fleets from 4 to 8.5 tonnes.
The new order adds to the one signed by Weststar in the first quarter
of 2010 for nine AW139s, and another for one AW 139 in the second
quarter of 2010. All those aircraft are now in service supporting Petronas
and other oil companies' offshore operations in Peninsular Malaysia. The
AW139s began operations in April, and in less than eight months have
flown more than 8,000 hours.
"We want to continue this relationship [with AgustaWestland] in Malaysia
and to expand the relationship to the region where the demand for this
industry is ever increasing," Azman says. "As Weststar plans for its regional
expansion, AgustaWestland and Weststar will continue to collaborate to
provide quality services and products to support our operations."
The order marks the first sales in Malaysia for the new-generation
AW169 and AW189 helicopters. Deliveries of the AW189 are scheduled
to start in 2014, with the first AW169 to be handed over in 2015. The
manufacturer's AgustaWestland Malaysia subsidiary will provide pilot and
technician training services and comprehensive support services for the
helicopters from its headquarters at Kuala Lumpur's Sultan Abdul Aziz
Shah Airport in Subang.
Separately, AgustaWestland says it will open a new AgustaWestland
Training Academy (AWTA) in Malaysia in January 2012. The Academy will
be located at Subang airport and is part of the manufacturer's continued
investment programme in AgustaWestland Malaysia.
It is also planned that from 2013 an AW139 Full Flight Simulator (FFS)
will be available in Malaysia, the first to be located in Asia. Sited in Kuala
Lumpur, this new FFS will be a major asset supporting the AWTA in
delivering a high standard of training to operators in the region.
-- Andrzej Jeziorski
The order marks the first sales in Malaysia of AgustaWestland s AW169
and AW189 helicopters.
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