The Helicopter Company (THC) of Saudi Arabia has placed an order for 26 more Airbus Helicopters—20 five-blade H145D3 light twins and six ACH160 medium twins. THC previously signed an agreement to buy 10 Airbus H125 single-engine helicopters in August 2020 to increase access to domestic tourism destinations and provide services such as filming and aerial surveying.
Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) established THC as part of its strategy to activate new sectors in Saudi Arabia that support the realization of its “Vision 2030” campaign to diversify that country's economy away from oil and generate long-term commercial returns. THC is the kingdom’s first and only commercial helicopter operator and has been flying since mid-2019.
This latest helicopter purchase agreement is part of THC’s previously announced strategic alliances with regional partners, including the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the current developer of a massive regenerative tourism project that encompasses 11,000 square miles that includes an archipelago of more than 90 islands, desert, and volcanic mountains. Phase One of the project, with 3,000 hotel rooms, is expected to open in 2022.
THC’s new contract for the twin-engine Airbus helicopters includes provisions for crew and maintenance technicians and will facilitate 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.