Almost $75 billion-worth of new civil turbine-powered helicopters are expected to be delivered globally over the next decade, a rotorcraft fleet forecast from Flightglobal advisory service Ascend predicts.

It suggests growth of the in-service fleet to over 28,000 turbine-powered helicopters by 2023, representing deliveries totaling around $75 billion. Ascend says this will be driven by persistent expansion of the global helicopter fleet, with particular focus in developing regions and further renewal in the offshore oil and gas support segment.

“The industry will also be boosted by the continued growth of the operating lessors and greater input from export credit agencies looking to make the most of the increase in demand," says Ascend's client delivery manager Chris Wills.

Ascend's forecast comes on the back of a record-breaking year for deliveries, with more than 1,000 turbine-powered helicopters handed over. “The entry into service of the first of the new 16-18-seat super-medium helicopters - the AgustaWestland AW189 and Airbus Helicopters EC175 - will be a key part in making 2014 an interesting one for the commercial helicopter market," adds Wills.

“On a less positive note, it’s difficult to see much change in the ongoing poor performance of the corporate [transportation] sector," he adds.

The two in-production civil heavies, the EC225 and the Sikorsky S-92, continue to be the core of the deep water offshore support fleet. The safety issues faced by the EC225 over the past year have resulted in some uncertainty in the market, says Ascend, but notes "there is the expectation in many quarters that it is purely a matter of time for confidence to fully return".

As such, Ascend Online Values has not revised its long term value forecasts for the type, as it still expects the EC225 to maintain its position alongside the S-92 over the long term.

While in the short term Ascend predicts more of a divergence in new values between the two types, it points to the recent orders placed at the Heli-Expo show, along with the announcement for the new longer-range EC225e, as indications that the gap between the helicopters will not be a long-term phenomenon.

Source: Cirium Dashboard