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THC

SAUDI ARABIA - Transport

Captain Arnaud Martinez

CEO, The Helicopter Company (THC)

Bio

Captain Arnaud Martinez is a results-driven leader with 20 years of experience in the aviation industry with extensive knowledge of fixed and rotorcraft operations, training, maintenance, airworthiness, quality, security and safety. He is a dedicated post holder and airline pilot with extensive experience in AOC certification, delivery and company set up with full scope of services. Between 2006 and 2019, Capt. He held various leadership positions in Gama International Saudi Arabia, Al Salem International Aviation, Liza Transport International, and Air Service Gabon/Air Affairs Gabon. He joined THC in 2019 as COO and ascended to CEO in 2020. Since 2022, Capt. Martinez has also served as a Member of the Board of Directors at Rotortrade, a company fully owned by THC, further contributing his expertise to the aviation sector.

"Our trajectory toward diversification has already commenced."
Operating since mid-2019, THC has grown to become the Kingdom’s premier commercial helicopter operator.
Can you share some insights into Saudi Helicopter Company’s journey since its establishment in 2019?

THC is actively developing the helicopter industry in the Kingdom: five years ago, we were established as part of Saudi Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) strategy to activate new sectors in Saudi Arabia and introduce safe and efficient transport services across the Kingdom. THC currently serves diverse segments, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), aerial work, private charters and tourism in the Kingdom. Constantly thinking about the needs of our customers and the wider Kingdom, we expanded our scope to encompass every facet of operation, positioning THC as a singular operator catering to tourism, VVIP services, ILO work, and medical services. Our dedication is unparalleled, and the focal point of our work is its tangible impact on people’s lives. Acting as a key enabler, we have significant partnerships with key organizations in the Kingdom, such as Red Sea Global, NATO, RCU, the Ministry of Health, and Saudi Red Crescent, prioritizing the provision of safe, cutting-edge rotary services. Regardless of sector, our mission remains consistent: to deliver unparalleled service and prove that everything is possible in aviation with the right partner. From our modest inception five years ago, we have grown at an unprecedented scale, consistently adding an average of 15 aircraft to our fleet annually, a contrast to the industry standard of five to seven. With 49 aircraft presently, we are poised to exceed 60 by year-end, with a further 17 anticipated annually thereafter. Today, we boast 15 operational bases and a workforce averaging 800 individuals, with plans to onboard an additional 30 each month. Our team, comprised of around 45 nationalities, showcases the diverse tapestry of our organization’s culture. We are not just investing billions to operate conventionally; we are pioneers, introducing segments like HEMS with Saudi Red Crescent Authority that were previously nonexistent.

Can you delve deeper into the strategies implemented to ensure safety and uphold technological superiority across your fleet?

It is crucial to understand that starting with a clean slate, like we did, presents its own set of challenges and advantages. Building from scratch allows for careful selection of the right platform and strategic planning for sustainable business growth in line with new technological developments. When charting our business development, we have closely aligned with Saudi Arabia’s green initiatives. In a country where such investments are significant, it is imperative to keep pace. Our foremost goal is ensuring the utmost safety, which requires a solid foundation built on experience. The next step involves operating the most suitable aircraft for each segment to deliver optimal service. Safety remains our top priority, followed closely by aircraft suitability for specific segments. Beyond this, our focus extends to pioneering new technologies, setting us apart from competitors. Having experienced numerous other countries’ aviation landscapes, I can confidently say that Saudi Arabia stands out as a unique environment where such a holistic approach is feasible. When investing in advanced systems, Saudi Arabia offers an opportunity to gather all stakeholders—investors, operators, regulators, infrastructure providers, and clients—around a common goal. We are proud to be a part of this unique ecosystem, a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence within a uniquely supportive environment.

What do you perceive as the most significant avenue for the company’s growth?

Our trajectory toward diversification has already commenced. Three years ago, we acquired Rotortrade, gradually progressing to 100% ownership last year. Rotortrade serves as our pre-owned sales and leasing segment, functioning as a vital tool in our arsenal. In terms of future growth, I see substantial opportunities in aerial work particularly in both light and heavy aircraft sectors. While we have made strides in areas like the H125, there remains untapped potential in realms such as electrical power line surveys, construction, and heavy lifting capabilities. Although we cannot pursue every avenue simultaneously, I am confident that further investment in aerial work ventures will yield significant returns

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