Civil Helicopters Market Intelligence

Leasing Market – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2021

Leasing Market – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2021

The end of 2021 saw the Asia-Pacific civil turbine helicopter leasing fleet reach 231 helicopters, marking a decrease of 16 units since 2020. The market, which had been growing until 2018, has now experienced a decline in three consecutive years – falling by 1.5% in 2019, a further 3.5% in 2020, and 6.5% in 2021. Mainland China saw the steepest decline in leased units, losing ten helicopters, with most relocating out of APAC. New Zealand experienced the largest increase, with an addition of a further four helicopters.

Milestone Aviation is the biggest lessor in the APAC region with 56 helicopters in its fleet. This was despite a reduction of 15 units when compared with 2020. Major bases for Milestone include both Australia and India. Coming second and third with 35 and 23 helicopters still operating by the end of 2021 were Airwork and LCI respectively. Overall, except for Milestone, there were only small changes in the other lessor’s fleets.

Regarding fleet value1 , the ‘Big Five’ lessors – those with over $100 million in leased assets – Milestone, LCI, Airwork, Macquarie, and Textron, accounted for more than 70% of the total

leased fleet value. Milestone had assets of US$953M, LCI had US$355M, Airwork had US$269M, Macquarie had US$152M, and Textron had US$104M.

Airbus remained the market leader with a leased fleet of 80 helicopters (35% market share) by the end of 2021. Next was Leonardo and Bell, with a leased fleet of 63 (27%) and 58 (25%) helicopters, respectively. The most popular leased helicopter model was the Leonardo AW139, with 48 units (21%). The second most popular model was the Airbus H125 with 24 units (10%), followed by the Bell 412 with 23 units (10%).

Around 40% (92 units) of helicopters leased had a utility configuration and were used for multi-mission operations. This was followed by offshore O&G and EMS configurated helicopters, with 27% (63 units) and 19% (43 units) of the total leased fleet. 2021 saw the most reductions in utility configured leased fleets, with a drop of eight units. This was followed by the EMS configured leased fleets, which decreased by six units.

Most of the leased helicopters belonged to the medium-sized category, which had 97 units (around 42% of the total leased fleet). The single-engine and light twin-size models came next, having 63 units (around 27%) and 52 units (around 22%), respectively.