This website uses cookies
More information
Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Why visit ACE ’24?

Related background information from the Handbook...
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

Request your printed copy

THC commits to huge fleet expansion with Airbus and Leonardo
Up to 120 Airbus and 130 Leonardo helicopters will be delivered over the next five to seven years. Part of the deals are firm orders for eight H125s and 20 AW139s, along with 10 H145s converted from earlier options.
The Saudi operator is expanding its Airbus fleet with a firm order for eight H125s and 10 H145s. The H125s will support aerial work and tourism while the H145s will be used for EMS and corporate transport.
Read this story in our March 2024 printed issue.

Saudi Arabia-based The Helicopter Company (THC) has signed framework agreements with Airbus and Leonardo at HAI Heli-Expo.

The Airbus order covers up to 120 helicopters of various types, set to be delivered over the next five to seven years. Part of the deal is a firm order for eight H125s, along with 10 H145s that are converted options from an earlier contract, bringing THC's total firm Airbus helicopter fleet to 60, 25 of which are already in service today. The H125s will support aerial services and tourism while the H145s will be used for EMS and corporate transport.

The Leonardo order is for 20 AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters for its EMS and SAR fleet, with deliveries expected to be carried out in 2025 and 2026, plus a multi-year framework agreement for over 130 aircraft, a mix of AW109s, AW169s, AW139s and AW189Ks for various applications, with a first batch of orders foreseen by the first half of this year and delivery positions over five to seven years. By the time all the AW139s are delivered, THC will have a total fleet of approximately 50 AW139s carrying out EMS, SAR and corporate transport missions, making it one of the largest AW139 operators globally.

Of the Airbus order, THC CEO capt Arnaud Martinez says: “We are delighted to announce our framework agreement with Airbus, a transformative moment in our growth journey which solidifies our position as a global player as well as regional leader. The agreement will enable us to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals through strengthening Saudi’s aviation sector while also meeting the changing needs of our growing customer base, both locally and globally. Our collaboration with Airbus will reshape the aviation landscape as, together, we will push the boundaries of innovation and showcase that with the right partner, everything is possible in aviation.”

Airbus CEO Bruno Even adds: “Our relationship with THC started in 2020 with the first contract for 10 H125s. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, moving beyond just helicopters to also look at how we can help pave the way for the use of sustainable aviation fuel in the region. This latest framework agreement reinforces the scope of our offering, and we thank THC for allowing us to help expand its helicopter activity.”

“We're proud of THC’s massive helicopter fleet expansion plan leveraging our technology,” says Leonardo MD Gian Piero Cutillo. “Our platforms will support its service capability growth programme with key life-saving and transport missions for the communities it serves.”

THC was established as part of Saudi Public Investment Fund’s strategy to activate new sectors in Saudi Arabia that support the realisation of Vision 2030 by creating an entire new ecosystem for general aviation services and introducing safe and efficient transport services across the kingdom. THC is the Kingdom’s premier commercial helicopter operator and has been operating since mid 2019. It currently has 47 aircraft that serve EMS, aerial work, private charters and tourism in the Kingdom.

Since launching in 2019, THC has placed orders with Airbus for 10 H125s for domestic tourism and aerial services, then went on to sign a second purchase agreement for 20 five-bladed H145s and six ACH160s in December 2021. The first ACH160 was delivered in March 2023.

In March 2022, THC placed 16 firm and six optional AW139 orders with Leonardo, with staggered deliveries starting 2022 through to 2025. And in April 2023, it confirmed its intent to procure an additional six units plus 20 options.

Other News
LifeFlight Australia orders three HEMS/SAR AW139s
March 1, 2024
Leonardo's AW139 fleet in Australia grows stronger with order for three more HEMS/SAR helicopters by LifeFlight Australia
DRF Luftrettung orders up to ten more H145s
February 28, 2024
The air rescue organisation has placed seven firm and three optional orders for H145s, keeping its EMS fleet as modern and flexible as possible.
Airbus Helicopters selects GPMS to expand HUMS offerings
February 27, 2024
With this agreement, customers benefit from Foresight MX's affordable and user-friendly interface, and gain optional access to the OEM support and recommendations that they demand.