Weststar Takes Delivery Of Its First AgustaWestland AW189 Super Medium Helicopter

From Sankara Subramaniam

FARNBOROUGH (LONDON) July 16 (Bernama) -- Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd (WASSB) today took delivery of its first AgustaWestland AW189 super medium helicopter in its bid to yield further success in the domestic and global market segments of offshore transportation services.

The delivery of the super medium helicopter marks the entrance of the new type into the South-East Asian helicopter market, thus making WASSB the first operator which will benefit from the unique advantages of the helicopter family concept in the region.

Chief Executive Officer of WASSB, Gen (R) Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin, said the initial delivery of the super medium helicopter was part of the four AW189 helicopters WASSB had ordered earlier at LIMA 2013 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.

"With the AW189, we have just received, we are not just adding to our fleet a class-leading helicopter, but more importantly, we are buying and adding value to our current fleet with the dynamics and commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family of new generation helicopters we have in our stable.

"Furthermore, with this acquisition, we will be AgustaWestland's first launching customer in Asia Pacific," he told reporters at the ceremony.

The ceremony to hand over the helicopter, held in conjunction with the Farnborough International Airshow here, was also attended by Agustawestland Chief Executive Officer, Daniele Romiti and Malaysian High Commissioner to UK, Datuk Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi.

The helicopter, purchased at a cost of US$24 million, is a new 8.3-tonne, twin-engine helicopter, designed to answer the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole platform.

Muhammad Ismail said WASSB aimed to become a big player in the field of offshore transportation services and with the addition of the AW189, it gives its fleet more depth to adapt to anticipated changes in future demand.

Coinciding with the delivery of the super medium helicopter today, WASSB also at the same event to celebrate another milestone in its AW139 fleet operation reaching 50,000 flight hours of performing offshore transport missions.


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