Analysis Highlights Future Optimism in Global Helicopter Market

With the ADS Policy, Public Affairs & Media team visiting member company AgustaWestland today, it is worth highlighting some of the key points raised by a recent analysis undertaken into the Civil Helicopter market.

Ascend’s ‘Helicopter Values Outlook’ looked back on 2013 as a mixed year in which while the sector achieved record deliveries of over 1000, lower orders from corporate clients alongside increased uncertainty over military spending which drives the market, caused the market to dip.

However, there is cause for optimism in 2014. Firstly, 2 major new types are set to enter service and re-invigorate the market: the AW189 and the EC175.

  • AW189: designed for offshore support, search and rescue and passenger transport, the helicopter weighs 8 tonnes and can accommodate up to 16 people.AW914
  • EC175: With over 100 orders so far, the helicopter weighs 7 tonnes, and also supports the oil and gas industry. It can be optimised additionally for homeland security and air medical services.

The year also got off to a good start at the Heli-Expo in 2014 where a high number of orders were placed across a range of small, medium and heavy helicopter platforms. Interestingly, Ascend have highlighted how orders are being placed more by lessors than major contractors – demonstrating that more companies are willing to invest in the market and analyse the financial benefits which leasing new helicopters can bring.

In the medium to long term, Ascend’s analysis also outlines that over the next ten years, they expected the in-service fleet to grow to around 28,000 turbine helicopters – representing 11,650 new deliveries, worth around $75bn.

The UK has a strong presence in the rotorcraft market – through many manufacturers, maintenance organisations and a range of operators. Continued investment in the development of new types (including the increasing focus on tilt rotor technology and rotor UAVs) will ensure that the UK maintains this presence in what is likely to be a highly valued market over the next 10-20 years.