IBA Insights

IBA’s Helicopter Market Update, March 2018

For those in the know, helicopter investment can offer high liquidity and good returns. This is in part due to the helicopter market forecast showing a less volatile outlook than other potential avenues.

For those looking to invest, there are many advantages to helicopters. These include their economic useful life, which sits at 30 years – 5 years more than commercial passenger aircraft. This is also able to be extended through the implementation of upgrades and PBH programmes, further strengthening the stability of the global helicopter market long-term.

Download our 2018 helicopter market update slides.

Helicopter fleets across the world

Of the five major helicopter fleets, the largest fleet by number in the world is the light single category – formed mainly of utility helicopters. Medium and heavy helicopter fleets are on the rise, however, and could be areas to watch in the coming years; particularly impacted by these models depreciating in value at a slower rate. Regarding the industries these helicopters fall into, around 25% sit within the military market, with corporate owners also representing a respectable portion of the sector.

Much of this fleet sits within North America, representing 41% of the global helicopter market. However, if you take into account a backlog of orders, due to low production rates, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific all have a relatively large number of helicopters on order compared to the size of their current fleets – showing interest in increasing their helicopter market share.

Impacts on investment

For those considering investing in helicopters, there are some factors to consider when it comes to joining this potentially lucrative market.

The price of oil has been at a low for a previously unprecedented length of time. This has the potential to mean a reduction in utilisation for OSOG and utility markets, which could see the retirement of older generation helicopter models. If a reduction in flying hours was caused as a result, ripples could be felt throughout the wider industry.

The privatisation of helicopter-dependent industries, like search and rescue, may also impact the investment market for this sector. Due to approximately 30% of SAR helicopters being over the age of 30, we are now seeing a shift to the use of privatised SAR firms. With 2,000 EMS helicopters in play, this represents a sizeable move to new ownership – and an opportunity for outside firms to make their mark on succeeding this ageing fleet.

We have made available our full analysis and helicopter market forecast, including data on regional growth, market drivers and changes in value.

IBA’s Helicopter Market Update Webinar, March 2018

The global commercial helicopter systems market was valued at US$8.2 Billion in 2017, and it is expected to increase to US$11.6 Billion by 2027. Key factors expected to drive the market for commercial aviation, aside from offshore oil and gas, include rising demand from emerging economies in AsiaPAC, Middle East, and Latin American markets, along with expanding usage of helicopters across many different sectors – like emergency services, law enforcement, corporate transport and tourism.

This webinar was designed specifically around the business needs of investors, lessors and financiers looking to explore the helicopter market. With elements of the global helicopter market returning as commodity prices edge up, this session provides valuable insight to help the aviation community identify opportunities, structure deals and mitigate risk.


Download a copy of our 2018 helicopter market update slides.

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