DUBAI: The Helicopter Company, Saudi Arabia’s first and only private helicopter company, aims to provide a faster travel option for residents, pilgrims and visitors to the Kingdom, especially those who want to see hard-to-reach sites that have been opened up for tourism.
“We started our operations in September … we started with VIP and officials’ trips,” CEO Yahya Al-Ghoraibi told Arab News on the sidelines of the biennial Dubai Airshow.
THC, fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has already registered over 140 flights for customers.
Also in its services menu are private transport, emergency medical evacuations and tourism transfers. The company also works with hospitals and emergency services to provide support in areas in the Kingdom which are hard to reach by land, as well as providing flights for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
Al-Ghoraibi is particularly proud of the company’s high level of engagement with Saudi employees, who comprise a majority of THC’s workforce.
“Currently, we have over 65 employees, 90 percent are Saudis,” Al-Ghoraibi said, adding the company’s aircraft technicians are all Saudi nationals while its pilots are almost all Saudis.
THC is also looking to engage more women by recruiting Saudi women pilots, Al-Ghoraibi said, especially that expansion plans are now on the table and may require the acquisition of more helicopters for its fleet.
“The services we are providing require that. Small helicopters, medium helicopters, big helicopters … (it) will depend on the trip requirements and the area,” Al-Ghoraibi said.
The company is also working to build more facilities and to increase its available on-ground helipads in the Kingdom, and also offer support to buildings and hotels working on their own helipads.