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Weststar Aviation Deepens Partnership with Leonardo Helicopters

Our Bureau - : May 25, 2023 - : 4:08 am

Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation has announced that it will purchase AW139 helicopters from Leonardo Helicopter Malaysia, in addition to entering a partnership agreement with the European airframer for the AW609 tiltrotor aircraft.

Company officials speaking to Daily News at the ongoing LIMA, said the agreements will facilitate Weststar Aviation Services’ global expansion plans and bolster Weststar’s local operations.

Weststar Aviation is the sole operator in Asia to have entered an exclusive partnership with Leonardo for the AW609 rotorcraft and the latter will now explore the diverse potential missions and roles of the AW609 aircraft.

Leonardo will provide Weststar initial training and maintenance support, as part of this partnership, while both parties plan to conduct demonstration activities during the capability development phase.

The AW609 combines the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. Its 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. 

At the ongoing show, Weststar Aviation Services, together with Leonardo Helicopter Malaysia and PETRONAS, successfully integrated Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) into one of Weststar’s AW139 VIP helicopters, establishing the company as the first helicopter operator in Malaysia to adopt SAF. Weststar’s adoption of SAF marks a significant milestone in sustainable aviation in Malaysia.

Weststar also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PETRONAS at the show, which will serve as a blueprint for collaboration between Weststar and other offshore helicopter operators in Malaysia, alongside PETRONAS, to drive the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in offshore helicopter operations.

SAF offers 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.


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