The Helicopter Company eyes global expansion and IPO
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The Helicopter Company eyes IPO amid expansion plans

The Helicopter Company eyes IPO amid expansion plans

The company’s growth is part of PIF’s broader portfolio strategy in aviation

Marisha Singh
THC eyes IPO

The Helicopter Company (THC), a commercial chopper operator owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), is setting its sights on global expansion and an initial public offering (IPO).

CEO Arnaud Martinez revealed these ambitious plans during the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, held earlier this week.

The Helicopter Company’s expansion plans

THC is preparing to expand beyond Saudi Arabia once it secures its domestic market position. This move aligns with PIF’s strategy to generate long-term commercial returns and develop new sectors in support of Vision 2030.

Martinez emphasised the need to secure the local market before exploring opportunities internationally and pursuing an IPO. He was quoted by Arab News as saying, “That’s what PIF does; we invest, we create something that the kingdom needs, we grow the business, then you go on, you grow, you go over the borders, and then you go on an IPO journey.”

Martinez highlighted the necessity for agility in Saudi Arabia’s aviation market. He stressed the importance of being responsive to demand without delays in acquiring necessary assets, reflecting the company’s proactive approach over the past five years.

Initially established to provide air mobility solutions for major projects like Red Sea Global, Amaala, NEOM, and Qiddiya, THC’s role has significantly evolved. The company now focuses heavily on emergency services in partnership with Saudi Red Crescent, aiming to impact lives by providing critical support.

Martinez is optimistic about the next five years, emphasising the need to grow THC’s medical services support and contributions to hospitality and tourism. He also mentioned the company’s goal to become a regional leader with a global presence.

“The role five years ago was mainly to serve as an air mobility solution. The giga-projects were the core of the THC setup five years ago,” the CEO said.

“Now the scope is way different five years later. One of our key segments, is how we impact the lives of the people by saving lives. So, we have a massive segment, with our partner, Saudi Red Crescent, and we are working really hard to provide emergency services to the Saudi population,” he explained.

The Helicopter Company’s fleet

To support its expansion plans, THC is investing in new technologies, including exploring fully electric helicopters. However, Martinez noted that the challenge lies in the ecosystem’s readiness rather than the helicopter platform itself.

THC expanded its fleet with 18 new aircraft in 2023, expected to be delivered in 2024.

This addition will increase the company’s total aircraft to 65 by the end of next year, with plans to manage over 100 aircraft by 2026. The new fleet will comprise a mix of Leonardo and Airbus aircraft.

THC, fully owned by PIF, was established in 2019 and caters to various segments, including emergency medical services, aerial work, private charters, and tourism. The company’s growth is part of PIF’s broader portfolio strategy in aviation.

Martinez concluded by expressing confidence in THC’s trajectory, driven by strategic investments and market responsiveness, positioning the company for significant international and domestic growth.

Read: PIF’s The Helicopter Company, GIB-Saudi Arabia ink SAR800m Murabaha loan facility deal

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