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The world’s most beautiful helicopter

   
Rotor Journal, No. 52 – October / November 2003

In early June, Rotor Journal caught up with Tan Sri Dato' Francis Yeoh, CEO of the Malaysian company YTL, at a ceremony held in Monaco to present the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 Award.

Rotor Journal: You are a major player in numerous sectors in Malaysia, Australia and, as of recently, England. Your main activities are owning and managing regulated assets. What are your future projects?
Francis Yeoh: At present, it is true that we mainly work in the utilities sector, with water in England (Wessex Water) and electricity in Australia (ElectraNet). We are a major supplier of private power in Malaysia and we are operating the Express Rail Link (ERL) between the Airport and the city of Kuala Lumpur. Today 60 % of YTL’s earnings come from outside Malaysia. We want to manage and own more regulated assets globally and increase our customer base from 10 million to 100 million.

   
   Like many other guests of the Malaysian businessman, Luciano Pavarotti loved the white leather interior.
R.J.: You have just received the Malaysian Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 and the Master of the Year 2002 awards from Ernst & Young during the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. What do these awards mean to you?
F. Y.: I am very honored to have received these awards. Out of 120 million entrepreneurs, Ernst & Young made an initial list of 9,000. Finally, they narrowed it down to 25.

Creating jobs is what matters most to me, making the world a better place and improving peoples' lives by offering them professional stability. My belief in God gives me confidence and a solid foundation. He makes me less cynical, more honest and straightforward, and much calmer. I am passionate about my work and I encourage people around me to be the same. I would not be who I am without YTL's ten million worldwide customers, and it is very important that they are satisfied with our products and services. Every morning, I consider their well-being and if they are not happy they will vote with their feet, then I will be in trouble.

   
Luciano Pavarotti was bowled over by the EC 155B of his friend Tan Sri Dato' Francis Yeoh.
R.J.: You are also passionate about helicopters and you own a Dauphin AS 365 N2 and an EC 155 B. It has been said that your EC 155 B has the most beautiful VIP interior in the world. Is this correct?
F. Y.: The EC 155 B is an extremely beautiful helicopter. When one has such a "State of the art machine", one should make it as beautiful as possible. It would really be a shame to equip it with bus seats, for example. I use my EC 155 B as a capitalist tool mainly for business. As a pilot, their onboard comfort is my priority. When I pilot this aircraft to Pangkor Laut, a 40-minute journey, I feel like the flight lasts only four minutes, but for a passenger it feels like four hours, but they soon get used to it and love it.

Luciano Pavarotti, for example, had never flown in a helicopter before. One day, I managed to persuade him to take the EC 155 B to Pangkor Laut Resort [Pangkor Laut Resort: "Number One in the World"]. When he was on board, he felt so good that he also wanted to make the return journey by helicopter. Like most of our guests he appreciates its white leather interior. Other people use a private jet to get around and therefore need their car to take them to the airport. With our helicopter; I go where I want, when I want. I am very satisfied. It is a very beautiful helicopter - very comfortable, very well equipped, electronically.


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