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The global helicopter services market size was USD 34.19 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 41.35 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 2.41% during the forecast period.
The helicopter, also known as rotorcraft, is generally categorized based on their propulsion into turbine and piston helicopters. The operational feature of helicopters such as vertical take-off and landing, helps in easily operations for remote locations. Lightweight helicopters are widely used for commercial applications attributed to benefits such as safety, high reliability, and easy operating systems. Owing to these features and benefits of helicopters, companies across the globe have started providing helicopters as a service for various applications. Helicopter flights are now commonly used for urban air transportation. For instance, Sap Paulo in Brazil is having more than 700 helicopter fleet and over 400 heliports/ helipads. These helicopter rides attract tourists as well as business commuters in the city and thus support the growth of the helicopter services market. These trends have become more common, and many other metropolitan cities are now using helicopter chartered services. As a result, the number of helicopter flights has witnessed high demand, and is expected to drive the helicopter services market across the globe.
Augmentation of Electric-vertical-takeoff-and-landing (EVTOL) and Urban-mobility services concepts
The eVTOL is a term used to indicate the type of aircraft that enables on-demand, safe, passenger, highly automated, and cargo-carrying air transportation services in an urban environment. Companies such as Airbus S.A.S, Aurora Flight Sciences, Uber Technologies, The Boeing Company, EHANG, and others have successfully tested the concept, and by 2023, these companies are looking forward to commercializing the eVTOL or air taxi technologies. Countries such as the U.S., Singapore, the UAE, and China are involved in developing smart cities equipped with the infrastructure and technology required for smooth operation of air taxis. This concept is also known as urban-mobility. Commercialization of these air taxis will create opportunities for service providers across the globe. Thus, the commercialization of above mentioned technologies are expected to drive the helicopter services market in the coming years.
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Implementation of Autonomous Technology and Real-time Data Tracking
The application of autonomous technology is based on the implementation of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things (IoT). These technologies assist in improving helicopter flight operations. The sensors installed in the helicopter provide real-time data that is collected from its live locations, which is further analyzed and deployed for helicopter tracking and systems for health monitoring purposes. It includes the efficiency of components & systems, maintenance, and repair & overhaul (MRO) operations, route mapping & navigation purposes. These improve the overall efficiency of the rotorcraft and minimize the operational cost. Helicopter operators are adopting these technologies and thus the commercialization of autonomous helicopter will drive the helicopter operators market during the forecast period.
“Rising Demand for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) to Drive Growth”
The rise in the smart city projects in the U.S., Singapore, China, and India, the increasing government initiatives for improving medical services and facilities, and rising investment by private hospitals in infrastructure development are creating high demand for the HEMS. Hospitals in the urban area prefer air ambulance services over roadway transportation attributed to benefits, such as fast and safe transportation of patients to the hospital. Moreover, the rise in human organ transportation through air ambulance is also supporting the growth of the HEMS; which, in turn, would drive the market in the coming years.
Helicopter service providers are focusing on expanding their business in regions, namely, North America and Asia-Pacific. It is estimated that there are over 2,500 helicopters in HEMS service across the globe; among these, around 1,250 helicopters are in North America. Helicopters models such as H125, H135, H145, H130, AS365, and H155 range are widely used for HEMS services.
“Increasing Application of Single Engine Helicopters to Propel Growth”
Companies, such as Bell Helicopters and Airbus S.A.S, provide lightweight single-engine helicopters for applications in tourism, corporate services, and media and entertainment industries. The use of single-engine based on advanced technology in the helicopter has helped to reduce the overall weight, reliability, mission flexibility, and provide better maneuverability, and reduced operational cost of helicopters. Moreover, single-engine helicopters such as Robison Helicopter and Leonardo's TH-119 are commonly used at low altitudes and for external weightlifting applications such as inspection of power line construction, firefighting, cargo handling, and among others. Increase in the deliveries of single engine helicopters is supporting the market growth throughout the forecast period.
“Stringent Regulatory Norms Hinder the Growth of the Market”
According to Helioffshore, between 2013 to 2018, there were more than 59 helicopter accidents and 147 fatality cases. In these years, in North America and Europe, there were major helicopter accidents reported. Thus, to minimize the risk of accidents and fatalities, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has laid down rules and regulations for the service providers. The company certification process is carried out by considering the described regulatory norms. The helicopter service operators need to follow stringent rules and regulations described by FAA and National Transportation Safety Board safety and other safety agencies. The rules are related to passenger and pilot safety, various systems and component certifications, safety equipment, air ambulance related norms and others. Owing to these stringent rules, the entry of new service providers in the market becomes limited and thus hampers the growth of the helicopter services market.
“Lightweight Helicopter to Lead: Wide use of lightweight helicopters for Business/Corporate Travel and Disaster & Humanitarian Aid Applications to Boost Market”
Base on the type, the market has been segmented into lightweight, medium weight, and heavyweight. Key helicopters service providers such as Air Charters India and Paramount Business Jets have 14 and 29 lightweight helicopters, respectively, accounted for more than 50% of the total fleets with these companies. Similarly, helicopter operators around the world are preferring lightweight helicopters for applications such as business travel, tourism and disaster management as they have features such as high maneuverability, easy to operate in remote locations, and less operating and maintenance costs. Owing to such advantages, in 2018, the lightweight helicopter segment accounted for the largest market share.
Whereas medium and heavy helicopters are used for applications such as cargo lifting, air ambulance, air transport services, crane services, firefighting services, and others. Increase in need for medium and heavy helicopters from the oil & gas, logistics & transportation and Power line construction industries will drive the helicopter services market.
“Rising Usage of Helicopters in Air Ambulance Services to Propel Growth of Market Segment”
Based on application, the market is segregated into offshore helicopter, air ambulance, business/corporate travel, disaster & humanitarian aid, leisure charter, transport, media & entertainment, and surveying & aerial imaging. Amongst these, the air ambulance segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This is attributed to the rise in the investment by key hospitals and governments to provide better medical services. In 2018, business/corporate travel is anticipated to be the largest segment in the market.
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The oil & gas segment is anticipated to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. Helicopters are widely used for the maintenance and inspection of offshore oil rigs. Along with this, they are used to increase emergency evacuation, survivability, and equipment inspection. Moreover, the rising oil and gas exploration activities in the Middle East and Africa are expected to propel the helicopter services market growth.
Recently, the Amazon rainforest fire has facilitated the demand for air crane helicopters for firefighting and rescue operations. In case of media and entertainment, the rising use of helicopters for film shooting and sports activities has created demand for helicopter operators. Similarly, in the case of surveying and aerial imaging, the demand for aerial 3D scanning & mapping application and aerial photography would propel the growth of the helicopter operators market during the forecast period.
North America Helicopter services market Size, 2015-2026 (USD Billion)
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“North America Expected to Dominate Backed by High Demand for Lightweight Helicopters”
Based on regions, the global helicopter services market is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World.
In 2018, North America accounted for the largest market share. It is attributed to the rise in government expenditure on commercial helicopters and the demand for HEMS. The U.S. is anticipated to emerge dominant with the largest helicopter service market share in North America. The U.S has key helicopter service providers such as Air ocean Aviation, Pacific Point Aviation, Inc., Wilco Helicopters Inc., Analar Corporation and others. In addition, factors such as the rise in demand for air ambulance services, oil and gas exploration activities, and search & rescue operations will be increasing the demand for helicopter operators market in the country.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. The rise in the tourism industry in countries such as India and China has boosted the growth of the helicopter services market in the region. Moreover, in 2018, New Zealand had 1,913 number of helicopter fleets in service. New Zealand and Australia has the highest number of helicopter fleet in service in Asia Pacific. Moreover, companies such as Airbus S.A.S and Bell Helicopters are investing in the helicopter simulator & training facilities in India and China. This will provide training to the pilots for various commercial helicopter service operations in the region. The commercial helicopters are deployed for public transportation at tourist places, and an increase in the tourism is promoting the growth of the helicopter services market during the forecast period.
In the case of Europe, the rise in the smart city concept and the modernization of infrastructure in the region will boost the helicopter operators market. In case of the Middle East and Africa, the rise in the oil and gas exploration activities in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and others will facilitate growth of the market during the forecast period.
Key Players to Maintain their Strong Position Across Different Helicopter Service related Areas
The major players are significantly investing huge sums to strengthen their product portfolio, and expanding their business in Asia Pacific. The key manufacturers are progressively establishing long-term agreements with suppliers to manage their fleets and profit margin effectively, while saving the overall service cost.
Outsourcing of air ambulance services is the future trend in the helicopter operators market. Helicopter service providers and operators are involved in long term contracts with the hospitals to provide medical services. This helps hospitals to minimize the overall maintenance and operating cost of the helicopters. Moreover, the rise in the use of artificial intelligence in the helicopter tracking would be the key future trends in the market.
The report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on the helicopter services market and a detailed analysis of the market size & growth rate with its attributed factors.
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Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption of advanced technology, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, Porter’s five forces analysis, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, and their adopted business strategies, macro and micro-economic indicators.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 34.19 Billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 41.35 Billion by 2026.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.41% during the forecast period (2015-2026).
The business/corporate travel segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market.
Augmentation of electric-vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) & urban-mobility services concepts and implementation of autonomous technology and real-time data tracking will propel the growth of the market.
Air Charters India Pvt. Ltd., Air Methods Corporation, Alpine helicopters Inc., Bristow Helicopters Limited, Carson Helicopters Inc., Erickson Incorporated, Gulf Helicopters, Heli Air Limited, PHI International, Paramount Business Jets, and Pheonix-helicopter-charters are the top players in the market.
North America is projected to hold the highest market share in the market.
Augmentation of electric-vertical-takeoff-and-landing (EVTOL) and urban-mobility services concepts are the market trends.
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