Monday 17 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd, the largest offshore helicopter transportation services provider in Southeast Asia, has placed an order for five AW139 helicopters from Leonardo Helicopter Malaysia, which will facilitate Weststar’s global expansion plans and bolster its local operations.

It also entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with Leonardo for the AW609 tiltrotor aircraft in Asia, which is a groundbreaking aircraft that combines the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.

"As part of this partnership, Leonardo will provide Weststar initial training and maintenance support, while both parties plan to conduct demonstration activities during the capability development phase," Weststar said in a statement on Wednesday (May 24).

"AW609's unique tiltrotor technology enables seamless transitions between vertical and forward flight, making it ideal for a wide range of applications including executive transport, emergency medical services and offshore operations," it added.

Weststar said it has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with national oil major Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to explore collaboration to drive the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in offshore helicopter operations. The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 on Wednesday.

"This pioneering initiative underscores Weststar’s dedication to supporting environmental sustainability and reducing carbon emissions in the aviation industry," it noted.

SAF is an eco-friendly alternative to conventional aviation fuel derived from renewable sources like biomass and waste. It provides several benefits for helicopter operators, including 80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional jet fuel. It also improves fuel efficiency, resulting in lower operating costs for operators, and offers a higher energy density than regular jet fuel, allowing helicopters to travel longer distances with a single tank.

“The signing of the MoU with Petronas and the agreement with Leonardo marks significant milestones in our journey towards sustainable aviation practices and global expansion,” said Weststar founder and group managing director Tan Sri Dr Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim.

Edited ByKang Siew Li
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