Malaysia’s Weststar to launch AW609 tiltrotor in SE Asia

The sun sets behind a parked Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor.
Photo Credit: Leonardo

Malaysia’s largest helicopter service Weststar has signed important agreements with Leonardo at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition(LIMA).

Leonardo and Weststar Aviation Services will collaborate in numerous fields, including technological, sustainability, and commercial. Notable amongst these will be the introduction of the AW609 tiltrotor aircraft into the South East Asian market.

Photo Credit: Leonardo

The AW609 Tilt-Rotor

The tiltrotor will be introduced by Weststar in Malaysia, with the operation of one aircraft under a lease agreement. This new milestone will gradually introduce South East Asia to the tiltrotor aircraft sector.

The AW609 tiltrotor will be used to perform various missions in the country, which supports the business unit of the oil and gas of Weststar. 

With the tiltrotor being a new concept to any operator, Leonardo will assist the Malaysian company with initial training and support, with demonstration activities slated for the near future.

Leonardo will also tailor-make the aircraft as required by Weststar and the environment of humid and hot South East Asia.

As of the time of writing, the AW609 tiltrotor program will be the first in the world multi-role tiltrotor aircraft to achieve civil certification. This therefore allows Weststar to operate the highly capable machine in the oil and gas, and also VIP market. 


Photo Credit: Leonardo

Weststar comments

Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, the Group Managing Director of The Weststar Group, said: “As Weststar continues to push the boundaries of innovation and operational excellence, we are excited to partner with Leonardo to introduce the AW609 tiltrotor in Malaysia.”

“This ground breaking aircraft will revolutionize our operational capabilities, providing us with a versatile platform to fulfill our various 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.”

Furthermore, not only the rotorcraft is gaining a strong foothold in Malaysia and Asia, Weststar has also inked a contract for five more AW139 intermediate twin helicopters in an offshore configuration.

This shows the commitment of Weststar to pursue the latest and most efficient machines in the market.  This will also position Weststar as a regional leader in offshore energy providers, using the best helicopter in its class. 

A Greener Milestone

At the LIMA Airshow, a significant milestone has been achieved. Westar’s AW139 VIP performed the first-ever demonstration flight with SAD in Malaysia, from Subang Airport (Kuala Lumpur – it’s base) to Langkawi International Airport.

The SAF was provided by a Malaysian fuel producer PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) in collaboration with Neste, the world’s leading SAF producer.

This milestone is it’s first in the South East Asian country, as this is the first-ever helicopter SAF flight, stressing that Leonardo products are future-proof. This will allow Westar to achieve a reduction of its global carbon emission goals. 

In fact,  Tan Sri Syed Azman, stated: “At Weststar, we are committed to driving sustainable aviation practices and reducing our carbon footprint.”

“We are a step closer to reducing the environmental impact of Malaysia’s rotor wing sector with the successful demonstration flight of our AW139 fuelled with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).”

“This achievement exemplifies our commitment to harnessing innovative solutions and driving positive change in the industry. We remain dedicated to shaping a greener future for the aviation industry and reducing carbon emissions across borders.” 

PDB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Khalil Jaffri Muhammad Muri said:“At PDB, we are committed to supporting the aviation industry’s decarbonisation efforts. This collaboration is a positive step in the right direction in promoting a sustainable aviation future.”

Weststar, since its establishment in 2003 has been the leading regional offshore helicopter transportation. Its loyalty to Leonardo products has been proven by its commitment to buying new helicopters along with introducing the first-ever tilt-rotor into South East Asia.

By Indy Udol 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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