Weststar Signs Contract for 10 AgustaWestland Helicopters at LIMA 2011

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that Weststar Aviation Services of Malaysia has signed a contract for 10 AgustaWestland helicopters comprising, five AW139s configured for offshore transport, one AW139 for VIP transport, two AW169s and two AW189s. The contract was signed today by Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar and Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland, at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition. The contract is valued at approximately US$150 million (RM 470 million). Weststar will be the first operator worldwide to benefit from the commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family of new generations 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 that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets from 4 to 8.5 tonnes. This order adds to the one signed by Weststar Aviation Services in the first quarter of 2010 for nine AW139s and another one AW 139 in the second quarter of 2010, that are now all in service supporting Petronas and other oil companies offshore operations in Peninsular Malaysia. The AW139 started operations on 1st April 2011 and in less than eight months have flown more than 8,000 hours. Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Group Managing Director of Weststar, commented "Weststar is proud to be associated with AgustaWestland. We want to continue this relationship in Malaysia and to expand the relationship to the region where the demand for this industry is ever increasing. As Weststar plans for its regional expansion, AgustaWestland and Weststar will continue to collaborate to provide quality services and products to support our operations." Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland said at the ceremony "We are delighted that Weststar has chosen AgustaWestland to meet its fleet expansion plans. We are sure our range of high performance new technology products will serve both Weststar and its customers exceptionally in the markets it serves. As the region's largest AW139 operator and a major provider of offshore helicopter services we are also very pleased to have Weststar as one of the lead customers for both the AW169 and AW189." The order marks the first sales in Malaysia for AgustaWestland's new generation AW169 and AW189 helicopters. Deliveries of the AW189 are scheduled to start in 2014 and in 2015 for the AW169. AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd 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. The AW139 has achieved great success in Malaysia in recent years with orders placed by local operators for corporate, fire fighting, EMS/SAR and coastal patrol missions. State-of-the-art technology, outstanding performance, low operating costs and the only helicopter in its class to meet the latest safety standards, have made the AW139 the helicopter of choice in the medium twin market. With its power reserve, the AW139 delivers Category A (Class 1) performance from a helipad (elevated or at ground level) at maximum take-off weight with an unmatched one engine inoperative capability. The AW139 can carry up to 15 passengers in its spacious cabin. Almost 590 AW139s have been ordered by customers around the world with nearly 450 now in service. A versatile, new generation 10-seat twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. The 4.5 tonne AW169 incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for its customers. New generation technologies are incorporated in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems. The AW169 is set to be the most advanced and cost effective helicopter in its class for EMS, SAR, law enforcement, passenger and offshore transport and utility missions. The AW169 will fly for the first time in 2012 with deliveries commencing in 2015. The all new AW189 was launched this year in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole helicopter in the 8-tonne class and has rapidly found success in the market place. Set to enter service in 2014, the twin engine AW189 helicopter is optimised for long range offshore transport and SAR missions. The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard with the option for a high density 18 seat layout or an ultra long range 12 seat configuration. Exceptional external visibility and the deployment of the latest in avionics technology make the AW189 the pilot's choice. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, will reduce crew workload and enhance safety. The AW189 will meet the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). The AW189 will benefit from the extensive and expanding AgustaWestland worldwide support network already serving the offshore oil and gas industry. A comprehensive array of simulator and training devices will progressively be made available to serve the worldwide AW189 customer base.

Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Dec 7, 2011