LIMA 2023: Leonardo and Weststar celebrate technological and commercial development agreements, for an important sustainability milestone

Weststar will operate an AW609 tiltrotor and will collaborate with Leonardo in developing the capabilities of the revolutionary aircraft in the Southeast Asian area

Weststar signs contract for five additional AW139 helicopters in offshore configuration

An AW139 helicopter operated by Weststar has achieved a major sustainability milestone flying on SAF fuel

During the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition – LIMA, Leonardo and Weststar Aviation Services (Weststar), Malaysia, celebrated commercial and technological development agreements.

Weststar will introduce an AW609 tiltrotor to Malaysia and operate it under a lease agreement. The aircraft will be used to perform several missions in the country and its operational capabilities will be further developed, for the specific needs and expectations of the regional market. Leonardo will provide initial training and maintenance support, as well as demonstration activities during the capability development phase. This latest milestone for the AW609 programme, the world's first multi-role tiltrotor designed to achieve civilian certification, marks the brand new aircraft's entry into Southeast Asia.

“Given how Weststar is constantly striving for innovation and operational excellence, we are thrilled to partner with Leonardo to introduce the AW609 tiltrotor to Malaysia. This revolutionary aircraft will transform our operational capabilities, providing us with a versatile platform to carry out our diverse missions. We are proud to be the first to bring the world's first multi-role tiltrotor to Southeast Asia and look forward to demonstrating its outstanding capabilities to our current and potential customers,” said Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Managing Director of The Weststar Group.

In addition to the announcement of this important collaboration with Leonardo in the development of the operational capabilities of the revolutionary AW609 tiltrotor, Weststar has signed a contract for an additional five AW139 helicopters in offshore configuration. This will strengthen the level of support provided by Weststar to the regional energy industry, already ensured by deploying the best-selling helicopter in the world market of its category.

Finally, on 22 May an important sustainability milestone was achieved by an AW139 Weststar helicopter in VIP configuration, which conducted a demonstration flight using SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) bio-fuel for the first time in Malaysia, taking off from the airport of Subang (Leonardo Malaysia Headquarters) to LIMA. The SAF fuel was supplied by PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) in partnership with Neste, the world's largest SAF producer. This flight represents a first in Malaysia in the helicopter sector, further demonstrating Leonardo's ability to reduce the impact that aviation has on global carbon emissions, in all geographical areas.

“At Weststar, we are committed to promoting sustainable aviation practices and reducing the impact of emissions. We are one step closer to reducing the environmental impact of the rotary-wing sector in Malaysia, thanks to the successful demonstration flight of our AW139 powered by Petronas' SAF. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to pursuing innovative solutions that drive positive change in the industry. We remain committed to shaping a greener future for the aviation industry and reducing emissions, beyond borders,” added Tan Sri Syed Azman.

“We are committed to supporting the decarbonization efforts of the aviation industry. This collaboration is an important step in the right direction in promoting a sustainable future in the industry,” said PDB Chief Operating Officer Khalil Jaffri Muhammad Muri.

Since initiating its operations in 2003, Weststar Aviation Services has grown to become one of the leading global operators in the offshore helicopter industry. Today the company employs 35 helicopters belonging to the AW139, AW169 and AW189 models from its bases in Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Mauritania, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, becoming one of the largest commercial operators of Leonardo helicopters.

Leonardo continues to play a leading role in the Malaysian helicopter market, expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through an ongoing investment plan. With a regional hub for customer support and training near Kuala Lumpur, Leonardo has been present in the region for many years, with hundreds of helicopters performing missions such as offshore and passenger transport, utilities, homeland security, search and rescue, medical services contingency, maritime patrol, military naval and armed reconnaissance roles.


Weststar Aviation Services is a global leader in the provision of offshore helicopter transport services. With a global reach and commitment to service excellence, Weststar has established itself as a trusted partner to major players in the oil and gas industry. Weststar constantly invests in advanced technologies, rigorous training programs, robust maintenance protocols to ensure and exceed the highest operational standards. The company's presence extends to various countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Mauritania, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo.

LIMA 2023: Leonardo and Weststar celebrate technological and commercial development agreements, for an important sustainability milestone