Civil Helicopters Market Intelligence

Operator Overview – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2020

Operator Overview  – Civil Helicopter Fleet Report YE 2020

At the end of 2020, the top commercial helicopter operators with more than 20 turbine helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region operated a total of 740 helicopters, accounting for 17% of the total fleet.

CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co (COHC) had the largest fleet, operating a total of 78 helicopters, closely followed by Aero Asahi (70), and Nakanihon Air (65). Of the top 21 operators in the region, eight were based and primarily operate in China, four in Australia and three in Japan.

Nine operators saw their fleets grow in 2020, while seven operators saw their fleet contract. The fleets of five operators did not change.

COHC was notable among the top 20 operators, as well as among the top seven offshore operators. By adding four units to its fleet, COHC managed to remain the largest helicopter operator in Asia-Pacific.

Two Japanese operators had the second and the third biggest fleets among the top 20 operators. Aero Asahi and Nakanihon Air both maintained their ranking with a slight change in their fleet numbers; Aero Asahi decreased by three units and Nakanihon Air increased by just one helicopter.

Shaanxi Helicopter – Bell’s distributor in mainland China, had a fleet of 40 helicopters at the end of 2020.

Kingwing experienced the largest contraction (10 helicopters), followed by CHC (five), and Hevilift (four).

Overall, several Australian operators were scattered around the top 20 operators list. McDermott Aviation had no change in its fleet size but dropped one place in ranking, whilst Babcock had a small decrease in its fleet and a two place drop in its ranking. Heli West jumped up three places despite no change in its fleet, whilst CHC dropped six ranks with five units leaving its fleet.

There were also two Indian operators on the list. Pawan Hans had no change in its fleet number and retained its ranking, whilst Global Vectra dropped two places when one aircraft left its fleet.

Weststar was the only Malaysian operator on the list. It retained its rank and increased its fleet by one aircraft in 2020.

Government helicopter operators also play a vital role in the Asia-Pacific helicopter market. At the end of 2020, there were a total of 615 turbine helicopters in the fleets of Asia-Pacific government operators – 14% of the total helicopter fleet in the region.

Overall, the Japan National Police had the largest fleet in the region with 91 helicopters, followed by the Japan Fire Department (73), and the Royal Thai Police (66).

Japan, home of the largest government fleet in the region, operated 223 turbine helicopters through its different government divisions: Japan National Police (91) , Japan Fire Dept (73), Japan Coast Guard (50), and the remaining nine helicopters operated in smaller numbers by various different government agencies.

South Korea came second with multiple government operators: Korea Forestry Service (48 helicopters), Korea National 119 Rescue (31), Korea National Police (17) and Korea Coast Guard (17).

Mainland China together with Hong Kong and Taiwan operated 99 government helicopters, split among the China National Police (48), Taiwan NASC (22), the Ministry of Transportation (20) and the HK Government Flying Service (9).