Weststar signs contract with Leonardo to purchase AW169s and AW139s

Weststar Aviation Services (Weststar), a regional offshore helicopter transportation services provider, and Leonardo have signed a contract — valued at around €50 million — for three new-generation AW169 and two AW139 helicopters for offshore operations in West Africa and the Middle East.

Weststar Aviation currently operates 33 AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters, and has placed an order with Leonardo for five additional aircraft. Weststar Photo

The contract signing ceremony was held on March 27, 2019, at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in the presence of YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, prime minister of Malaysia. The three AW169s helicopters will be for Weststar’s ExxonMobil and Noble contract in Equatorial Guinea, while the two AW139s are for the Al-Khafji joint operations contract in Saudi Arabia, which is a joint venture between Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) and Aramco Gulf Operations.

“This procurement further strengthens the partnership between Weststar Aviation Services and Leonardo and is a key factor in Weststar’s overseas business expansion,” said Tan Sri Dr. Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, group managing director of the Weststar Group. “The AW169 and the AW139 twin-engine helicopters are the most successful new generation models in their class worldwide, and the most demanded helicopter types in the Oil and Gas industry. We are pleased to purchase yet more helicopters from Leonardo to support our offshore helicopter operations and we will use the newly purchased helicopters for our operations in West Africa and the Middle East.”

“Weststar is one of our most important helicopter customers worldwide and we are happy to confirm our leading position in the offshore market in the region,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters. “There are now over 60 Leonardo helicopters in Malaysia, where we have our regional Customer Support and Training hub, and we plan to increase our presence even further in the future by expanding the services we offer.”


Since commencing its operations in 2003, Weststar has grown to become one of the global key players in the offshore helicopter industry. To date, Weststar operates a total of 33 AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters out of its bases in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The AW139 and AW169 are part of Leonardo’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW189. These models are ideal for passenger transport, emergency medical services (EMS) and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. Leonardo has a long-standing presence in Malaysia with a large fleet of helicopters — both commercial and military — defense, security and airport

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