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​ROTORCRAFT: Flight Ascend sees strong Asia helicopter growth

Flight Ascend Consultancy says that Asia-Pacific's civilian helicopter fleet has grown 65% in the last decade.

Speaking at a press conference for the opening of the Rotorcraft Asia, consultant Dennis Lau presented data showing that in 2016 the region accounted for just 17.5% of the global civilian helicopter fleet, but 29% of deliveries.

Lau noted that the largest market in Asia-Pacific remains Australia, with nearly 2,000 civilian helicopters, followed by China, with just over 800.

"The largest markets in the region are not necessarily the fastest growing ones," he said.

China, for example, has seen its fleet of civilian helicopters explode from under 200 in 2006, to nearly 1,000 in 2016.

All mission segments have seen strong growth in the last ten years. He specifically pointed out offshore support, surveying/mapping, sightseeing, training, and emergency medical services.

Lau adds, however, that the industry is still in recovery mode following the collapse of the resources sector a few years ago.

"Deliveries in the short-term will still be impacted by the slowdown in 2015-2016, driven by the oil market slump and economic uncertainty in some regions," he says.

"New models such as the Bell 505, 525, Airbus Helicopters H160, and others will help stimulated demand - first for fleet replacement, and then growth. The Asia-Pacific will eventually overtake North America, accounting for 30% of new deliveries in the next ten years."

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