Australian-Turkish joint venture launches as StarFlight Australia
CareFlight Group in Australia has joined forces with Kaan Air from Turkey to launch StarFlight Australia. Through manufacturer links already in place via Kaan Air, the new operator will have access to factory new helicopters from both AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters, with Kamov Ka32s specifically cited as the model range of the latter.
The new company will provide government agencies, commercial entities, and private organisations and operators throughout Australasia and South East Asia with helicopters for emergency response, surveillance, aerial firefighting, utility and logistical transport services.
StarFlight also extends to the European HeliStar brand, which is a joint venture between Kaan Air and its partner Air Methods, the largest helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS), tourist helicopter operator and flight training company in the United States.
StarFlight chairman Ferda Yildiz, was in Australia this week to launch the joint venture with StarFlight deputy chairman the Hon. Rob Borbidge. Yildiz said:
“I am excited to be here in Brisbane to officially launch StarFlight Australia. Our company is new but the two organisations of Kaan Air and CareFlight Group bring more than 50 years of combined industry experience to the table. We can offer Australian, New Zealand and Asia Pacific organisations new solutions for their rotary wing requirements.”
StarFlight Australia’s chief executive officer John Skeen, said the company’s approach was to partner with current operators rather than compete, with a view to increasing capability of national and state fire authorities and to join with our partners to offer and provide the latest helicopter technology.
“This can be achieved through assisting with improving service as well as access to new and more capable equipment. For example, StarFlight can access the latest EASA and CASA approved Kamov Ka-32A11BC helicopter, fully equipped and compliant for firefighting in Australia and South East Asia regions.
“Australia’s climate has been trending toward more bushfire weather for decades and the threat to property, vegetation, livestock and human lives has increased. There’s a lot of pressure on governments and service providers to increase firefighting resources throughout the country, particularly in terms of rotary wing attack.”
StarFlight also provides nationally-recognised training services through joint partner Careflight Group’s Training Academy.