The Helicopter Company (THC), established by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) as the first and only helicopter services provider licensed to operate commercial flights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced that it has signed a second purchase agreement with Airbus Helicopters.
The agreement was signed by Raid Ismail, Chairman of the Board of THC and Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, in the presence of His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment and His Excellency Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness.
The partnership will contribute to the ongoing expansion of THC’s regional fleet ahead of announcing an exciting new journey as a General Aviation champion, with twenty orders of the newly launched five bladed H145 (BK117 D-3) and six ACH160 models. All aircraft feature cutting-edge technologies and biofuel-compatible engines, marking a significant milestone in developing alternatives to conventional aviation fuels and achieving decarbonization of helicopter flights.
Launching its services in 2019, THC was established by PIF as part of its strategy to activate new sectors in Saudi Arabia that support the realisation of Vision 2030 and generate long-term commercial returns, while meeting the growing demand for luxury tourism and air travel services. THC previously signed an agreement to buy 10 Airbus H125 helicopters to increase access to domestic tourism destinations and provide services such as filming and aerial surveying – and is now further expanding its services with the addition of the H145 and H160 to its fleet.
“Our mission is to create a world-class National Aviation Champion and today, by signing this agreement with our trusted partner Airbus, we mark an important milestone in our journey to grow together with the nation in focus to fulfil Saudi Vision 2030. This deal comes as part of THC’s commitment to introduce new services with advanced technology that fulfill market demand and support the development of the Kingdom’s wider aviation sector,” said Raid Ismail, Chairman of the Board of THC.
“We are honored by the trust that THC is placing once again in our products and our teams and I am personally thrilled with this expansion of our partnership”, said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “THC will be taking full benefit of Airbus’ latest innovations with the five-bladed H145 and the ACH160, which we are certain will be valuable assets in their portfolio, enabling them to develop operations in the country,” he added.
Commenting on the partnership, Captain Arnaud Martinez, CEO of THC said, “We are extremely proud to sign this deal today with a world-leading aircraft manufacturer like Airbus. This important milestone is indicative of our growth as a business since our inception and of our positive contribution to the delivery of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision in terms of stimulating new sectors. Moreover, it is a commitment to the recently announced goals of the Saudi Green Initiative to not only grow our business and industry, but to do so in a sustainable manner.”
The purchase agreement forms part of THC’s ongoing strategic regional alliances with industry leaders, including a recent partnership with The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project. The contract for the provision and operation of a twin engine helicopter, crew and maintenance technicians, facilitates TRSDC emergency medical services (EMS) with alternate configuration change capability for passenger utility transport at TRSDC’s site on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.
John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC said, “As we strive to lead the way in creating a smart and sustainable mobility network for our destinations, we are thrilled to witness the growth and expansion of our partner, The Helicopter Company, who are paving the way to a sustainable future for aerospace in Saudi Arabia. It is imperative that the full aviation ecosystem continues to come together to build a resilient, stronger and greener future.”