The EC135 over Borneo

This year, Hornbill Skyways, the largest air operator in the State of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo in Malaysia, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

© Hornbill Skyways
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Three decades ago, this operator started flying business trips with its airplanes and two Bell Jet Rangers. Hornbill is currently modernising its helicopter fleet and has opted for the EC135. The company already operates three of these aircraft and decided to go even further by signing an MOU for three more during last June’s Paris Air Show.
“To meet the needs of our clients, especially the Sarawak Government, Hornbill has been upgrading its fleet and replacing its single-engine helicopters with twin-engine models,” explains YB Aidan Wing, Executive Chairman of Hornbill Skyways. “We chose the EC135 because we need a reliable and safe helicopter amongst other reason. Over the island of Borneo, we operate in very difficult mountainous areas and unpredictable weather conditions, and all this is a challenge for our aircraft and our pilots. We received the third EC135 in November and will take delivery of another three of these aircraft between 2008 and 2009. Both our crews and our customers have given this helicopter a resounding thumbs-up.”
Hornbill performs VIP and corporate flights in the State of Sarawak and 80% of these missions are carried out for the government, transporting its president, ministers and other government officials. For 23 years, Hornbill has also performed flying doctor services for the Ministry of Health, providing primary health care to people in rural areas of Sarawak that have no health facilities.
“We are very satisfied with the support from Eurocopter Malaysia, with whom we have a very close relationship. They give us day-to-day assistance in terms of crew training and technology transfer. Hornbill now has its eyes on a bigger aircraft such as the EC155 B1. YB Aidan Wing has the last word: “The future could be very exciting!”