LIMA 2015: Weststar signs for four Sikorsky and AgustaWestland helicopters
Weststar General Aviation, a Malaysian company providing private aviation charter services, signed contracts for four new helicopters at LIMA 2015 on 18 March. Among them was Weststar General Aviation’s first ever order of a Sikorsky S-76D configured for VIP use.
This contract worth $16.2 million will deliver Southeast Asia its first VIP variant of this helicopter type. It ‘will offer VIP passengers in the region the newest and most advanced medium-size S-76 helicopter family configured to a new standard of flight comfort and quiet ride,’ said Weststar in a statement.
The other contract, worth $24.3 million, covered one AgustaWestland AW119Kx, one AW109 GrandNew and one AW169. These new additions to the Weststar General Aviation fleet will allow the company to start operating executive/corporate transport services using AgustaWestland craft.
Another company within the group – Weststar Aviation Services – will take receipt of the region’s first AgustaWestland AW189 later at LIMA. This craft capable of carrying 19 passengers is the first of four ordered at LIMA 2013. Malaysia-based Weststar Aviation Services has been operating AW139 craft in support of the oil and gas industry since 2011.
Operating a mix of AgustaWestland and Sikorsky craft, Weststar Aviation Services is the largest provider of offshore helicopter transportation services in Southeast Asia. Its clients include the likes of Petronas Carigali, Shell and ExxonMobil.
When the latest contracts are tallied, the Weststar Group will operate a total of 54 helicopters. Tan Sri Syed Azman, Weststar Group’s managing director, commented, ‘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.’
Azman added that Weststar General Aviation hopes to double its current footprint in the helicopter charter services market. ‘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,’ he concluded.
In other Sikorsky S-76 news, the US company has appointed Mycopter Aviation Services as the first authorised customer support centre in Southeast Asia to support almost 50 S-76 craft currently operating in the region. This centre will operate from Mycopter’s Subang Airport facilities. Shawn Cornell, Sikorsky’s Southeast Asia general manager, said, ‘Sikorsky is committed to bringing customer support services closer to operators of S-76 helicopters across Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.’
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