Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd (WASSB) of Malaysia has taken delivery of the first of two AW189 super medium helicopters. Weststar will use its AW189s to perform long range offshore transport missions in Malaysia. The official handover ceremony was held today at the Farnborough International Air Show. The customer also celebrated a new milestone with its AW139 fleet achieving 50,000 flight hours performing offshore transport missions.
The delivery of the first Weststar AW189 marks the entrance of the new type into the South-East Asian helicopter market and makes Weststar the first operator who will benefit from the unique advantages of the Family concept in the region. The AW189s add to two AW169 light intermediate and to 34 AW139 intermediate twins ordered by the customer, with the first AW139 entering service back in April 2011.
Meanwhile, as the company continues to operate its business profitably, its CEO, General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin remarked, “With the AW189 we have just received, we are not just adding to our fleet a class-leading helicopter but more importantly, we are adding value to our current fleet with the benefits of commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family of new generation helicopters. Furthermore, with this acquisition, we are AgustaWestland’s launch customer in the Asia Pacific region.”
He added, “Hand in hand, our fleet growth is central to our expansion plan. We aim to become a big player in the field of offshore transportation services and with the addition of the AW189, this gives our fleet more depth as we adapt to anticipated changes in future demand.”
Commenting on Weststar’s rapid growth, he stressed, “To cater for the industry’s burgeoning operational needs, we aim to expand our fleet to 100 helicopters in the next five years. We strongly believe that current conditions are ripe for more demand in the immediate future and we aim to make the most out of this window of opportunity.”
The AW189 was designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter. The new 8.3 tonne, twin-engine helicopter is optimized for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received about 130 orders, including framework agreements and options, making it the outright market leader in its class. The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard with the option for a high density 19 seat layout or a long range 12 seat configuration. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, reduces crew workload and enhances safety. The AW189 will meet the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). The AW189 is unique in having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Jul 16, 2014