Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited (RBHSL) handed over dividend of Nu 6.1 Million (M), 15 percent of its profit after tax, to the Finance Ministry yesterday in Thimphu.

The state-owned Enterprise (SoE) generated revenue of Nu 162.64M in 2017 and Nu 135.12M in 2016. The company has been operational since November 5, 2015.

Thirty-seven percent of the profit was generated from medical evacuation flights, less than one percent from fire fighting missions – 32 percent from subsidised local charter to Lunana, 26 from tourist charter flights, and four percent from lifting works.

Cabinet Secretary and chairman of the company, Kinzang Wangdi, said that the service was availed for 159 medical evacuation flights – four fire fighting missions and 135 local charter flights, including 47 subsidised charters.

The helicopters launched a total of 426 flights, including the 110 tourist charter flights and 18 lifting works in 2017.

Finance Secretary Nim Dorji said that the dividend transfer ceremony was mainly to acknowledge the guidance of the boards of directors, efficient management by the Chief Executive Officer and hard work of the company’s staff.

He said that RBHSL had achieved both objectives of SoEs – to transfer social mandates of the government and ‘if possible’ to ensure that SoE is financially sustainable and to contribute to the revenue of the government.

Nim Dorji said that the company is fulfilling its social mandates by carrying out all the medical evacuations, firefighting missions, local charters and lifting works, and the commercial mandate by making profit as well as building reserves. “The transfer of dividend demonstrates success and commitment to continue making profit in terms of operation.”

Finance minister, Namgay Dorji, said that what is more important than measuring profits is how many people the service was able to help.

Karma Cheki