Air Ambulance Services Becoming a White Elephant in Developed Regions, Hampering the Helicopter Seating Market

The global helicopter seating market has benefited immensely from the growth of the aviation sector in recent years and has experienced steady growth. The helicopter seating sector has become increasingly sophisticated in the last few years due to steady influx of investment from government agencies as well as private entities in a number of sectors. The growing demand for progressive technological advancement in helicopters due to their rising utilization in diverse application sectors is likely to entail steady growth of the helicopter seating market in the coming years. 

The global helicopter seating market is likely to reach a valuation of US$4.3 bn by 2025. According to Transparency Market Research, the market was valued at US$1.7 bn in 2017 and is expected to exhibit a 12% CAGR between 2017 and 2025. 

What are the key factors affecting the growth trajectory of the helicopter seating market?

The rising utilization of helicopters in air ambulance services has become a crucial issue for the global helicopter seating market. Due to the utility of helicopters in transporting patients in emergency situations to healthcare dispensation centers in a short time, helicopters are being adopted by the healthcare sector in a number of countries. Developed countries such as the U.S. are at the forefront of this trend and are likely to remain the leading contributors to the helicopter seating market in the coming years. However, the rising number of helicopters employed in the healthcare sector has now presented other issues for authorities, which could adversely affect demand from the helicopter seating market in the coming years. 

Since the early 2000s, when the U.S. was home to nearly 300 healthcare helicopters, each transporting about 600-700 patients per year, the sector has transformed into a commercial behemoth with more than 1,000 helicopters transporting, on average, just 324 patients per year. This has resulted in a steady rise in costs, with the average costs of for-profit air ambulance services rising from US$13,000 to more than US$50,000 over the last decade alone. This has had unforeseen consequences due to the lack of coordination with the medical reimbursement and insurance sector, which has seen several patients fall into financial troubles solely due to being airlifted to hospitals.

On the other hand, the helicopter seating market stands to gain significantly from the booming healthcare sector in developing countries, where air ambulance services are still a novel concept, and is likely to pick up steam in the coming years. The emerging Asia Pacific market for helicopter seating, valued at US$340.6 mn in 2017, is likely to exhibit a robust 13.8% CAGR in the 2017-2025 forecast period to end up at a valuation of US$960.4 mn. Europe is also likely to be a significant region for the helicopter seating market, as the penetration of helicopters in the healthcare sector is relatively low in even developed Western European economies, and particularly so in emerging Eastern European countries. 

How will the rising ultra high net worth demographic affect the helicopter seating market?

Apart from their utilization in the healthcare sector, the rising demand for helicopters from corporate entities as well as high net worth individuals is likely to remain a key driver for the global helicopter seating market in the coming years. Asia Pacific is likely to be influential for the helicopter seating market in this respect as well, as the volume of the high net worth demographic in this region is rising at a steady rate. The VIP application sector of the helicopter seating market is thus likely to contribute significantly to global figures in the coming years. 


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