Airbus and The Helicopter Company Expand Partnership to Include Sustainable Aviation Fuel and UAM in Saudi Arabia

Defence Industry

Dallas. Airbus and The Helicopter Company (THC) have signed an agreement in order to continue expanding helicopter activities as well as to introduce urban air mobility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This comes as an additional step toward the co-creation of an Urban Air Mobility ecosystem in the Kingdom.

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The signing of this agreement is a testimony to the strong partnership between Airbus and THC, as the company already operates 10 H125s, recently added 20 five-bladed H145s (with an option for an additional ten aircraft) and six ACH160 helicopters (with an option for an additional four) to its fleet.

The agreement foresees the decarbonisation of flight operations for Airbus’ products in THC’s fleet. This includes the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels for conventional helicopters, as well as the introduction of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) services in the country. The agreed cooperation between the parties and the aviation regulatory authorities of the kingdom will enable the safe application of these solutions to a variety of mission segments, such as Emergency Medical Services, Eco tourism or Private and Business Aviation.

Captain Arnaud Martinez, CEO of THC, said: “This is a significant move toward the introduction and efficient operations of cleaner helicopters and advanced technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are pleased to be a part of this unique opportunity to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the urban transportation market together with Airbus.”

“We are looking forward to working closely with THC to further develop our strong commitment to the decarbonisation of our customers’ missions”, said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “This agreement with one of our major partners is an important step towards pioneering sustainable air transportation services around the world”.

The Helicopter Company, established by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the first and only helicopter services provider licensed to operate commercial flights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Since 2014, Airbus has been exploring how electric propulsion can help drive the development of new kinds of aerial vehicles. In September 2021, the Company unveiled its fully electric eVTOL prototype, CityAirbus NextGen. Airbus is developing a UAM solution with eVTOLs not only to offer a new mobility service in urban areas and beyond but also as an important step in its quest to reduce emissions in aviation all over its product range.

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