KUCHING: Sarawak-based shipping company Hubline Bhd has now ventured into the aviation business with the acquisition of 51 per cent of Layang Layang Aerospace Sdn Bhd (Layang Layang).
Layang Layang started its operation in 1994 in Miri, Sarawak by an aircraft engineer turned entrepreneur Johan Poong Abudllah. The company, recently celebrating its silver jubilee, initially was focused in providing that very important air link to connect the rural areas of Sarawak and Sabah.
Layang Layang is a registered service provider for Petronas and is entering into the oil and gas air transportation services with bases in Miri and Kota Kinabalu as one of its major upcoming project.
“The oil and gas transportation is picking up again and Layang Layang with its safety record for the last 25 years and with backing from Hubline, is in good position to expand into the sector,” the group said in a statement yesterday.
Its core business is in the general aviation sector which plays a very important roles in Sabah and Sarawak especially in supporting the government initiatives of providing medical care to the rural people in Sabah and Sarawak in providing that important air link in the Flying Doctor and Emergency Medical Air Evacuation services.
With the acquisition of 51 per cent of Layang Layang Aerospace Sdn Bhd, Hubline expects to have a positive contribution to the Group and Hubline Bhd is confident of the potential expansion in the general air charter, flying academy and the oil and gas sector in the near future.
Notably, Layang Layang is a recipient of numerous safety awards from the Helicopter Association International. Layang Layang Aerospace Sdn Bhd is currently engaging with a helicopter manufacturer for procurement of the helicopters for the oil and gas operation.
“For the general aviation, Layang Layang is in the midst of procuring two additional fixed wing aircraft and six helicopters – two twin and four single engines – to support the growing demand of general aviation services in the region,” it added.
“With the addition, Layang Layang’s fleet will comprise of 28 aircraft, mixture of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft being the largest general aviation operator in the country.”
Meanwhile, a calibration laboratory for aviation tooling and equipment is being setup in collaboration with an internationally accredited company at its complex in Kota Kinabalu.
Layang Layang is also setting up another heavy maintenance workshop for the Rolls Royce M250 engines that powers the Bell 206s helicopters and Normad aircraft.
On the maintenance and repair business, the grouphas started the setting up of two major workshops for the general aviation in Sabah and Sarawak. The company has also set up its own aircraft maintenance division, an approved Part 145/CAMO, to provide full maintenance to its fleet and other operators in the region.
To take up the challenge to improve the safety of aviation in the local aviation industry, the company also established a subsidiary, a flying academy in 2015, initially for the helicopter pilot training.
In 2018, the Academy has expanded into the aeroplane flight training and is the only flying academy in the country that provide flight training for helicopter and aeroplane.
The Academy with its main base in Kota Kinabalu has also established a satellite base in Ipoh due to high demand for pilot training. The Academy also manage an aerodrome in Kuala Penyu for the flight training and other general aviation services.