Investors bet big on chopper hiring services

A helicopter provided by Aircraft Leasing Services monitors participants during a past Classic Safari Rally. Photo/ANWAR SIDI

Helicopter hiring services are increasingly becoming popular in Kenya, as more players join the growing industry.

Over the past three years, the sector has witnessed an additional number of players, private and commercial.

This has made some players start lobbying for an industry association to promote the sector’s agenda.

“It would be ideal that all operators come together under an association. This will make it easier for us to do business and engage the industry regulators on issues affecting us in an organised manner,” said Mr Ian Mimano, chief executive of Lady Lori.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority licenses and ensures safety standards in the industry.

Previously, those seeking emergency services and politicians, especially during electioneering periods, were the main clients.

The landscape has changed, with a number of corporate organisations and individuals making use of the service.

As a result, tourists, film and advertising production houses, and celebrities have become a hit with helicopter operators.

“The business has grown a lot and we see more people opting for helicopter services than it was about three years ago,” explained Mr Mimano.

Typically, hiring a helicopter is charged on hourly basis with a two-hour round trip being the benchmark.

This costs an estimated Sh160,000 ($2,000) per hour.

Apart from Lady Lori, other firms include Airline Leasing Service.

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