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Demand growing in helicopter leasing market says IBA

- Leased helicopter fleets projected to reach 15 per cent by 2030 -


IBA, the leading aviation market intelligence and advisory company, has revealed that the leased helicopter fleet has surpassed 10 per cent in 2023, and is expected to rise to a record high of 15 per cent by the end of the decade.

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With over 300 recorded lease transactions in 2022 and now 2023, the growth of the leasing market in both years has outpaced the tally of previous years. A key driver in the growth of the leasing market is the shift towards helicopters in multi-role configurations which increases the end user appeal, thereby expanding the range of possible leasing options.


In its recent webinar, IBA’s experts, Kane Ray and Rami Abdel Aziz, provided insights on market movements for each helicopter weight category, the progress of deliveries, and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Offshore market outlook.


IBA’s intelligence revealed that Airbus H125s, H135s and H145s, and Leonardo AW139s are proving the popular models for lease placements. Overall growth is expected in all helicopter weight segments but the heavy class – a category dominated by Airbus and Sikorsky – is still lagging. Despite this present trend, there is hope of renewed interest as the requirement for heavy offshore helicopters continues to rebound.


Actual helicopter deliveries for 2023 were in line with IBA’s previous forecasts around the 500-unit mark. With stability observed in deliveries, IBA anticipates steady Market Values and Lease Rates through to 2025 as supply chain issues are gradually resolved.


IBA also revealed that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)’s projected growth in global fleets will likely exceed the number of retiring helicopters as demand for new equipment surges. However, in the coming years, the number of helicopter retirements is expected to increase, especially in the US, driving higher levels of fleet replenishment.


In the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) helicopter market, IBA has seen growing demand from Asia, powered by the specific requirements in the region. The availability of finance in Asia has also enabled new investment in the EMS sector.


While the demand for offshore helicopters is largely tied to oil and gas prices, new safety requirements for offshore oil and gas operations and technological advances for offshore helicopters have also stimulated decisions in favour of fleet renewal orders.


IBA also identified new market opportunities for helicopters, particularly for models that can perform firefighting operations or are well suited to offshore wind farm support.

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