New Straits Times
BELL EYES MORE LOCAL DEALS
Company looking to sell helicopters here as part of its fleet refurbishment, renewal plan
BELL Helicopter, a United States-based commercial and military helicopter manufacturer, plans to strengthen and expand its presence in Southeast Asia including Malaysia beginning this year onwards.
Bell Helicopter Asia (Pte) Ltd managing director for Asia Pacific Sameer Rehman said the company was looking to sell a number of its helicopter models to the private companies and military authorities in Malaysia as part of its fleet refurbishment or renewal plan.
The models include the new Bell 525 Relentless, Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and Bell 429 Global Ranger.
“Our intent in 2018 and beyond is to find a way to grow the market in Malaysia. We have been doing business with Malaysia for over 20 years. We were very successful in the first sale of Bell 505 in Malaysia,” Sameer told NST Business in an interview during the Singapore Airshow 2018 recent.
For the Malaysian market, Bell Helicopter is interested to sell the Bell 525 to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) as well as the Bell 505, which can be used for transportation, military training as well as emergency medical services (EMS).
Sameer said the Bell 525, once certified, will be the world’s most advanced super medium fly-bywire helicopter that would be an advantage for Malaysia to protect its vast landscape and territory.
“As the MMEA recognises the geopolitical situation, we want to find a way to enhance their capability by offering them the Bell 525,” he said, adding that Bell Helicopter also planned to sell the 429 model to MMEA.
The current Bell Helicopter models that are used in Malaysia include the Bell 206, Bell 407 and Bell 429. The Bell 429 is being used by PLUS Helicopter Services Sdn Bhd.
Sameer said there is a huge growth opportunity for Bell Helicopter in the region as the countries gear up to place regulations to support their para-public and paramilitary space.
Besides protecting the land and water territories, Sameer said Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines were expanding its network of disaster assistance and recovery as well as helicopter EMS.
Bell Helicopter has a service centre in Singapore and its maintenance team travels to its clients in Asia Pacific.