Although the aerospace sector has been heavily impacted during the current health crisis, the helicopter market does not seem to be experiencing a sharp drop in demand. In fact, the size of the global helicopter market is expected to grow by nearly $15.6 billion in five years to 2025. This increase is mainly due to a growing demand for military and emergency medical services helicopters worldwide.
IMPACT OF THE HEALTH CRISIS
The global helicopter market is made up of the major players in the aviation sector, such as Airbus Helicopters SAS, Bell Helicopters (American) and the Boeing company.
Of course, like all other companies, these companies producing helicopters have been impacted by about 10% on a global scale in 2020, which leads to a decrease in production and revenues and impact the entire supply chian. However, according to MarkettoMarket helicopter study in this sector, the global helicopter market should easily recover by 2022.
The health crisis has led to the redesign of many civil and military transport systems with a view to achieving fuel savings without impacting their performance and operational efficiency. A lot of progress has been made in the aerospace and defence sectors with the aim of improving energy performance. This is why manufacturers are reviewing the design of their military and commercial helicopters. One of the objectives is to reduce the weight of helicopter engines in order to reduce fuel consumption during flight by reducing the overall weight and therefore the energy required to produce. These technological advances have allowed manufacturers to lower costs for helicopter operators through this reduction in fuel consumption, as on average an engine weighs around 10-15% of the overall operational weight depending on the helicopter type.
Since 2018, demand has been mainly for single-engine light helicopters (1300 orders in 2018). An outlook published in 2019 confirms that these light helicopters will continue to account for most orders of this type, for example in North America, Asia Pacific, but also in the Middle East and even Africa. 25% of European operators have mentioned future purchases of this type of helicopter, which makes it a flagship product and could well stimulate strong growth soon.
Air mobility today is changing due to the advancement of technology, new transportation systems will soon be released like E-Volt. E-Volts are air taxis that will soon be commercialised by 2023 and will work like the Uber application between different cities and suburbs and even within cities. These new electric helicopters can be easily produced by commercial or military helicopter manufacturers who already have the technology and the design and manufacturing capacity. This could represent a major market opportunity for the helicopter sector in the years to come.
Commercial helicopters have experienced significant growth due to the increased demand for light helicopters for civil and commercial applications such as transport and offshore. This increase in demand is expected to continue to grow due to the evolution of offshore activities and the demand for offshore platforms.
As for military helicopters, the positive factor in this demand comes from emerging economies that are increasingly demanding light attack helicopters.
According to numerous market studies conducted by experts, Europe is expected to lead the helicopter OEM market This is due to their increasing investment in the quality and efficiency of helicopters and their systems (cabin, engine, landing gear and cabin interior). America also has many large helicopter manufacturers such as Boeing, Bell Helicopter Textron, and Lockheed Martin Corporation and will drive the growth too.
China and India are promising markets for the helicopter sector due to increased investment in security, surveillance, and combat. Countries hit by the threat of terrorism have also increased their defence and security budgets, which presents an opportunity for the light military combat helicopter sector.
India remains a very promising market for France, which is working closely with Airbus and Mahindra, both helicopter manufacturers.
The aerospace industry is highly regulated, due to the many risks associated with flight operations. There are a multitude of regulations and standards at national and international levels concerning the actions of helicopter manufacturers. Each level and regulation in terms of safety can be different between countries, so there are country-specific regulatory bodies. However, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has implemented regulations that must be followed worldwide.
All components and systems within the helicopter must follow each of the existing regulations to the letter to ensure safety and tolerance levels. These same systems and components must undergo strict quality control and testing.
MAIN MARKET PLAYERS
The main players in this sector are France (Airbus Helicopters SAS), the United States (Bell Helicopters and Boeing), Italy (Leonardo S.p.A), Russia (Russian Helicopters) and finally Japan (Kawasaki Heavy Industries).
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