Westar to bring Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor to Malaysia and signs five-heli deal


Westar Aviation is to bring Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor to Malaysia, marking the aircraft’s entry into the South-East Asia market. Offshore helicopter services company has also signed a contract for five AW139 intermediate twin helicopters in an offshore configuration.

The operator will commission one AW609 under a lease contract to carry out a range of roles and missions in the country. Marking the tiltrotor’s entry into the South-East Asian market, Leonardo will supply initial training and maintenance support.

Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, group MD, The Weststar Group, said the aircraft will revolutionise the firm’s operational capabilities by providing a versatile platform to fulfil missions. “We are proud to be the pioneer in bringing the world’s first multirole tiltrotor to South-East Asia, and we look forward to demonstrating its exceptional capabilities to our present and potential clients,” said Ibrahim. The AW609 is the first multirole tiltrotor designed to obtain civil certification.

Weststar’s five new AW139 intermediate twin helicopters will strengthen its support to the regional energy industry, said the company. Both orders were revealed at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA).

Meanwhile, last week, a Weststar AW139 in VIP configuration completed the first demonstration flight with SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) in Malaysia. The helicopter took off from Subang Airport, Leonardo’s base in Malaysia, bound for LIMA. The SAF fuel was supplied by PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) in collaboration with Neste.

Weststar said it was committed to cutting its carbon footprint. “We are a step closer toward reducing the environmental impact of Malaysia’s rotor wing sector with the successful demonstration flight of our AW139 fuelled with Sustainable Aviation Fuel,” said Ibrahim.

One of the largest commercial operators of Leonardo helicopters, Westar’s fleet includes more than 35 AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters. The aircraft operate from its bases in Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Mauritania, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo.