The Helicopter Company celebrates GACA recognition

The Helicopter Company Chairman Eng. Fawaz Alsharabi and The Helicopter CEO Yahya AlGhoraibi
Updated 05 September 2019

The Helicopter Company celebrates GACA recognition

The Helicopter Company has obtained a license to operate commercial flights from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), and in celebration of this milestone the company hosted a dinner ceremony on July 28 at Crowne Plaza RDC Hotel and Convention Center in Riyadh.
Chief Executive of The Helicopter Company Yahya Al-Ghoraibi was presented with the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) during the ceremony by Yasir Al-Mayoof, assistant to GACA president for aviation standards, making the company Saudi Arabia’s first national commercial helicopter operator.
During his speech, Al-Ghoraibi said that getting the Air Operator Certificate is a badge of honor and puts great responsibility on the company as the first commercial helicopter operator in the
“The Helicopter Company is aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030 to provide the best support services to the transportation industry in general, and the aviation industry specifically, as a major pillar pushing the development of both the business and tourism sectors,” he said. Al-Ghoraibi concluded his speech by thanking the GACA for their support and trust in
the company.
Fully owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), The Helicopter Company was established in 2018 with an initial capital of SR565 million ($151 million). The company will provide private transportation services within the main cities of Saudi Arabia, as well as sightseeing trips to various tourism attractions around the Kingdom.
Moreover, it will provide access to remote destinations, offering a high-end experience on a par with other global destinations.
The launch of The Helicopter Company is in line with PIF’s strategy to generate sustainable returns, establish and develop new sectors in Saudi Arabia and support the realization of Vision 2030 by acting as a catalyst for the Kingdom’s nascent tourism sector.

New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

Updated 26 January 2020

New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a global hotel company, has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March. The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the Kingdom in response to Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector. The new office will also drive the performance of IHG’s existing estate further in the country and simultaneously support the expanding portfolio, as well as the company’s ambition toward leading Saudization efforts in the industry, a statement said. 

To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, effective March 1. In his current role with IHG, Blanc is responsible for leading the operations across IHG’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia. He will also be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With extensive experience of working in the Kingdom, Blanc has been deeply ingrained into the market. He has also been leading IHG’s Saudization efforts, which he will continue to drive further in his new role. Blanc will continue to report to Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG. 

IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Al-Ahmari joins IHG from Boeing, Saudi Arabia where he served as the head of human resources. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, he is well versed with the transformation taking place in the Kingdom and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudization, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management. 


The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT. 

Managing director Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socioeconomic transformation in the country, we believe the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities. We are therefore, pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city, and appoint a talented team led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have strong commitment and an ambition toward leading Saudization in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”

He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.”