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The global helicopter MRO services market size was USD 7.21 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with helicopter MRO services witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a lower growth of -15.67% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 7.48 billion in 2021 to USD 10.23 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.57% during the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Rapid urbanization and growing demand for short-distance air travel are propelling the demand for helicopter services. The aviation sector has seen significant growth in the past few years due to rising aircraft and helicopter deliveries in India, China, Japan, and Australia. According to our study, India spends around USD 1.4 billion annually on maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services outsourcing to overseas companies. The Indian government is facilitating the simplifying the aviation norms, which will boost the aviation industry during the forecast period. In March 2020, the Indian government revised the rates of MRO taxation from 18% to 5% and promoted new helicopter MRO facilities.
COVID-19 Pandemic Has Negatively Affected MRO Services
In the last ten months, the dynamics of the MRO industry have changed drastically. Companies such as Airbus SAS, Heli-One, and Honeywell International, Inc. are looking forward to overcoming the pandemic impact on the financial disruption by collaborating with other key companies. Companies are also involved in redesigning their product portfolio and supply chain ecosystem to minimize the impact on the pandemic.
In 2020 and 2021, the demand for helicopter MRO services are expected to decline due to the impact on this industry. However, companies such as Airbus SAS and Rolls Royce PLC are designing advanced, cost-efficient MRO services to replace conventional processes with technologically advanced online platform MRO services. Companies are launching mobile-based MRO software services to simplify the critical helicopter engine, line, and fleet maintenance. Moreover, companies are looking forward to increasing the helicopter fleets for emergency medical services to treat and transport COVID-19 patients. This will help helicopter MRO service providers to overcome the financial impact of the pandemic.
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Deploying Augmented Reality (AR) based Systems for MRO Training
Augmented reality (AR) plays a crucial role in providing training and simulation for the MRO engines. In March 2019, companies such as Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and KLM had implemented Microsoft HoloLens AR goggles in MRO training. These AI-based goggles are used to visualize and instruct the trainees on a scaled 3D model of helicopter parts and systems. This has facilitated the growth of helicopter MRO providers, specifically global civil helicopter MRO providers.
Project Initiatives Such as Hangar of the Future (HoF) Project By Airbus SAS
Hangar of the Future (HoF), a project initiated by Airbus SAS, has integrated various technologies to digitize and automate MRO activities to improve MRO process efficiency.
HoF integrates the use of innovative and smart technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) connected machinery such as air-cobot, scanners, drones for aircraft inspection, cameras, and non-destructive sensors. Other key companies are also looking forward to developing such unique projects.
Demand for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Drives the MRO Services Market
The rise in smart city projects in the U.S., Singapore, China, and India propels the HEMS services. Besides, the rising government initiatives for improving medical services and required helicopter MRO facilities, and rising investment by private hospitals in infrastructure development create high demand for the HEMS.
Helicopter MRO service providers are focusing on expanding their regional presence. For instance, Airbus SAS facilities have supplied 2,000 helicopters for emergency medical services applications worldwide. Out of which, 1,100 are in North America and around 600 in Europe. Helicopter models such as H125, H135, H145, H130, AS365, and H155 range are widely used for HEMS services.
In August 2019, AirLife Medical Inc., an air ambulance service provider, launched a new facility in North Carolina in the U.S. With this new facility, the company has started providing air services during emergency and traumatic situations. Thus, the growing demand for helicopters for EMS operations leads to increasing helicopter MRO services that drive the growth of the market.
Increasing Demand for Power by Hour (PBH) Helicopter MRO Services to Propel the Growth
The Hour (PBH) Power, also known as support by the hour or cost by the hour, is the popular program carried out between helicopter MRO providers and helicopter operators. It is an agreement in which the MRO service provider provides a certain amount of components or scheduled maintenance to the helicopter operators during the pre decided contract time frame. Nowadays, PHB is gaining popularity due to its advantages such as reduced financial risk, prediction of accurate maintenance costs, and ease in accessibility of component maintenance. Thus, the increasing number of contracts between MRO service providers and helicopter operators drives the growth of the market.
In December 2020, Safran had signed a Support by Hour (SBH) contract with the State Grid General Aviation Company (SGGAC) that covered MRO services for its H215 and H225 fleets. The contract includes a long-term MRO service agreement supporting a total of 4 Makila engines. It also covers the renewal of SBH support for 14 Arriel 2D engines powering the operator's fleet of 13 H125 helicopters.
Complex Process in Engine Maintenance and Strict Regulatory Norms to Slow Down Market Growth
The most complex maintenance program is the overhaul. It includes the overall engine inspection and repair. Engine maintenance includes stages such as pre-analysis of engine condition records and customer’s requirements, an initial inspection that includes checking of faults and component damage, engine disassembly, module repair, detailed inspections with the proper recovery of condition. It also includes engine assembly from modules, bench tests, and engine conditioning and storing before delivering to the customer. Thus, hampers the market growth due to such complicated processes.
Additionally, stringent government regulations hamper the growth of the market. Government authorities heavily regulate the MRO sector. In India, MRO service providers for helicopters must provide proof of their requirements of parts or orders from their helicopter end users. The process for the clearance of the parts requires certification by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved Quality Managers in MRO’s.
Rising demand for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Propel the Growth of Light Weight Helicopter Segment
The market is categorized into lightweight, medium-weight, and heavy-weight helicopters.
The lightweight segment is estimated to be the largest and the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The rising demand for light helicopters from countries such as China and India for emergency medical services and other commercial operations is expected to fuel the growth of the segment.
The medium-weight helicopter segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growing demand for medium-weight helicopters for military operations such as cargo transportation, army personnel transportation, and others is anticipated to propel the growth of the segment.
The heavy-weight segment will showcase moderate growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rising demand for heavy-weight helicopters for military applications such as heavy lift of armored vehicles and equipment transportation.
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Power By Hour Segment to Witness Highest Growth Rate Due to Rising Adoption of Short Term Services with Optimum Financial Benefits in Post Pandemic Scenario
Based on the service operators, the market is classified into flight inspection, power by the hour, overhaul, repairs, and others (avionics, drive shaft, and rotor blades).
The flight inspection segment is anticipated to grow at a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Due to increasing helicopter accidents, there is increasing demand for periodic evaluation of navigational aid and flight procedures for enhanced accuracy and safety of aircraft. Thus, drive the market growth during 2021-2028.
The power by hour segment comprises major market share in 2020. Power by hour service helps operators project accurate service costs and reduce the breakdown cost of a helicopter. Rising PBH contracts between helicopter operators and MRO service providers drive the market growth during the forecast period.
The overhaul services segment includes disassembly, inspection, cleaning, repair, reassembly, and testing of aircraft or a component. During the helicopter's overhaul, all the fatigue life-limited components with less than 2200 hours remaining life are replaced with technologically advanced systems and components. The rise in the demand for MRO services in Asian countries will facilitate the growth of the market segment during the forecast period.
The repair services, damaged components are replaced or restored. Growing demand for helicopters for various applications such as search and rescue, EMS, oil & gas operations is expected to drive repair services. The other segment comprises MRO services for the driveshaft, avionics, and rotor blades. The rise in technologically advanced helicopter avionics systems will boost the growth of the others segment.
Rising Demand for Commercial Light Weight to Propel the Growth for Civil Helicopters Segment
The global market is categorized into civil and military helicopters.
The civil helicopter segment held the highest helicopter MRO services market share in the global market. The growth is attributed to the presence of the highest number of commercial helicopters across the U.S. There was a fleet of 9,348 commercial helicopters in the U.S. in 2019. Rising demand for civil applications such as search & rescue, aerial firefighting, transportation, tourism, and others drives the market growth across the regions.
The military segment is anticipated to grow at a moderate growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is due to the growing demand for medium and heavy helicopters from the defense sector. In December 2020, the U.S. Army signed a five-year contract worth USD 507 million with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, for UH-60M and HH-60M combat helicopters.
North America Helicopter MRO Services Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The global market is segmented based on region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America dominated the market in 2020. It stood at USD 3.09 billion in 2020. The U.S. is estimated to hold the largest market share in 2020. This growth is due to the procurement of advanced helicopters, major MRO service providers for helicopters, OEMs, and the rapid expansion of the aviation sector. The presence of MRO service providers such as ST Engineering, Aerospace, HAECO Group, AAR, Aviation Technical Services, and others drives the market across the U.S.
In November 2019, Russian Helicopters signed a contract with Pratt & Whitney Canada for fitting the cutting-edge light VRT500 helicopter with gas-turbine PW207V engines.
Europe was the second-largest region in terms of share in the global market in 2020. Presence of key players in Europe such as Airbus S.A.S. Rolls-Royce, Safran, MTU Aero Engines, and others are expected to augment the helicopter MRO services market growth in the region. In December 2020, The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) awarded a one year contract to NHV group to provide MRO services for three H145 aircraft to support their Special Forces’ training program at Laupheim (HSG64).
The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rising mergers and acquisitions among MRO service providers are expected to augment growth. For instance, in July 2020, Bell Textron Inc. acquired Zhenjiang Aerochine Aviation Limited to increase bell helicopter maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities in China.
The rest of the world comprises sub-regions such as the Middle East & Africa and Latin America. In August 2020, Leonardo S.p.A. strengthened its support and maintenance services for its clients in South Africa with a new service center by following Precision Aviation Services' recent acquisition (Pty) Ltd (South Africa).
Airbus Helicopters is a Prominent Player Offering Helicopter MRO Services Across the Globe
Airbus Helicopters provide authorized services through 30 customer centers and around 96 MRO service centers across the globe. Airbus Helicopters comprise a large range of standard upgrade solutions available through its global network. It is based on service bulletins (SB) and supplemental type certificates (STC). The standardization of MRO services and certifications related to MRO services allows ease in operations with shorter lead times and cost-effective services.
An Infographic Representation of Helicopter Mro Services Market
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The global helicopter MRO market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as key players and civil and military applications. Moreover, it offers insights on the parent market, global helicopter spending market trends, competitive landscape, and key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report covered several direct and indirect factors contributing to the global market's growth over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
BY MRO Service Operators, HElicopter Type, Application, and Geography
BY Helicopter Type
By MRO Service Operators
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 7.21 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 10.23 billion by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 4.57%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The lightweight segment is expected to lead due to the increasing investment in defense security by countries like the U.S., China, India, and Russia.
Airbus Helicopter is the leading player in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
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