Weststar Putting On Hold Plan To Penetrate Onshore Transportation Services In Iraq

From S. Sankara

FARNBOROUGH (United Kingdom) July 16 (Bernama) -- Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd (WASSB) is putting on hold its plan to undertake onshore transportation services in Iraq given the current situation in the country.

Chief Executive Officer of WASSB, General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin (R), said WASSB had already conducted its feasibility study to tap the helicopter charter market in Iraq, which has the second largest oil reserves in the world.

He said the feasibility study has been accepted in principle by Petronas.

"We are holding on to the offshore project given the situation in Iraq now," he told reporters after the handing over ceremony of the first AgustaWestland AW189 super medium helicopter purchased by WASSB here Wednesday at the Farnborough Airshow 2014 held outside London.

Muhammad also said Weststar, en route to a listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia in the first half of next year, said the company aims to expand its fleet up to 100 helicopters in five years' time.

"We strongly think that current conditions are ripe for increased demand in the immediate future and we aim to make the most out of this window of opportunity," he added.

WASSB targets to secure another RM3 billion worth of contracts by the year-end to add to the RM10 billion the company is currently servicing.

Meanwhile, WASSB Business Development Director, Datuk Anuar Noordin, said besides Iraq, WASSB also set its sights on two other African nations -- South Africa and Mozambique, as part of its overseas expansion plans to secure RM1 billion worth of contracts from both countries.

He also said Weststar is looking at engaging in offshore transportation services projects in Brazil, besides countries like Myanmar, Indonesia and Australia.

The AW189 super medium helicopter was purchased by Weststar in its bid to yield further success in the domestic and global market segments of the 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.


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