Civil Helicopters Market Intelligence

EMS Market – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2020

EMS Market – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2020

There were a total of 276 operational EMS helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region as at the end of December 2020 – the same as at the end of 2019. In total, there were ten deductions from the fleet, with just one pre-owned addition and nine new deliveries. Ems configured helicopters account for 6% of the total fleet and 8% of the total fleet value. The EMS market registered double digit growth figures for three years untill 2018, but slowed to 3% in 2019 and saw no growth at all in 2020.

EMS plays a crucial role in the medical service sector by providing emergency relief and rescue operations. These helicopters are not limited by geography or weather conditions and help provide emergency relief to remote areas with complex terrain. EMS helicopters can facilitate quick transport to nearby locations and are much faster than ground-based medical transport. In critical cases this can dramatically increase the chance of survival of patients.

One of the most common types of EMS operations originated from the United States, which has a competitive market, diversified financing resources, and is heavily driven by demand. Germany is also of note, as it only has three government-authorized service providers, compulsory medical insurance, and a helicopter prehospital-rescue system – a plan for health care provided on-scene at a medical emergency or major incident, and during transfer of patients to care facilities.

Japan was the market leader with 82 EMS helicopters in 2020. The Japanese Congress set in law procedures for helicopter EMS operations to ensure the smooth operation by provinces and the first aid centers of hospitals. Being on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is prone to natural disasters and, as such, the EMS segment is of paramount importance in the country. In addition, the expense of operating EMS helicopters is absorbed by the local government.

Mainland China, ranked second with 81 EMS helicopters in 2020. Mainland China was the main driver of growth of the EMS market between 2018 and 2019, with Kingwing in particular growing its market share. In 2020, several new operators entered the EMS market. However, despite new entrants, with the tough operating conditions in 2020, Kingwing grounded at least 29 helicopters. 2020 was a bad year for EMS operations in mainland China, with at least 38 helicopters grounded or stored during the year, taking 47% of the total EMS capacity out of the market.

With a fleet of 64 helicopters dedicated for EMS operations, Australia had the third largest EMS market in APAC. In Australia, only one institution is authorized by the government to take charge of EMS services. In addition, with a vast landmass and a low population density, transport of those people in need by helicopter is much more efficient. Moreover, between 16 – 80% of the total cost of operating EMS helicopters is subsidized by the central government.

Together, these three countries represent around 83% of the EMS market in the region.

The Airbus H135 was the most popular EMS helicopter model in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020 – 42 units (15% of the total EMS fleet), the majority of which were in operation in Japan (34 units). Leonardo’s AW139 was the second most popular – with 39 (14% market share) units.