Weststar Signs for More AW139s as Asian Market Grows
Malaysian operator Weststar Aviation Services yesterday ordered an additional 10 AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin helicopters. The company, which will use the aircraft to support offshore oil and gas industry activity, will increase its AW139 fleet to 34 once deliveries are complete.
On Monday, AgustaWestland (Booth H39) has received an order for one AW139 medium twin helicopter from the Republic of Korea’s public procurement service and Chungnam firefighting department. The rotorcraft will perform firefighting, search-and-rescue, EMS and utility missions in support of the Chungnam community. It will be fitted with a four-axis autopilot, a Bambi bucket, a search light, a dedicated EMS suite, fast roping fittings, a rescue hoist and will be approved for night-vision goggle operations. Delivery is scheduled in the second half of 2015.
“This order marks the fourth operator in the Republic of Korea to select the AW139 as its primary helicopter for fire fighting missions,” said Andrew Symonds, who heads the airframer’s business in northeast Asia. In the region, the manufacturer claims to have 119 helicopters in service and 23 on order. The Anglo-Italian manufacturer opened a business office in Seoul last year.
Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, the Royal Thai Army has taken delivery of two AW139s. They were ordered at the end of 2012 and will be used for transport and utility missions. They are the first AW139s to enter into service in a military role in the country, AgustaWestland pointed out.
Over 620 AW139s are now in service worldwide and another 130 are on order.