Helicopters Magazine

ASG releases annual Asia Pacific Civil Fleet report

March 7, 2017  By Asian Sky Group

Hong Kong business aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG) has released its highly-anticipated Year End 2016 Asia Pacific Civil Helicopter Fleet Report.

This is the fourth consecutive year ASG has produced the report and it again features a detailed breakdown of the Asia-Pacific helicopter fleet (excluding pistons) by fleet size, replacement cost, mission segments, size categories and OEM. The 2016 report also includes a section on offshore activity, discussing the continued impact of the oil and gas downturn on the civil helicopter market and an in-depth section on the Asia Pacific’s fastest-growing civil helicopter market, China.

The newest addition to this year’s report is another first by ASG – a section on the helicopter leasing market in the Asia-Pacific Region. No doubt of keen interest to all readers, this new section examines the reasons for leasing, types of leases available and provides a breakdown of leased helicopters by lessor and country.

As with all ASG publications, the Year End 2016 Asia Pacific Civil Helicopter Fleet Report spotlights a number of operators and OEMs in the region. For this issue, ASG had the opportunity to speak with helicopter operator HeliKorea, China Southern Airlines General Aviation Limited and the Leonardo Company. Also spotlighted are the Leonardo AW169 and AW189 which are highlighted for their multi-mission configurations and popularity within the region.


Highlights of the report include:

  • The Asia-Pacific civil helicopter fleet (excluding pistons) numbered 3,924 at the end of 2016, an increase of 4% over year end 2015. This increase is notably smaller than in past years, with only half of the 34 countries experiencing y-o-y growth. China remained the region’s growth driver – as it has for the past few years – adding 85 helicopters in 2016, an increase of 21% y-o-y.
  • The Asia-Pacific region’s fleet continues to be largely positioned in four countries.  In unit terms, 61% of the helicopter fleet is based in Australia, Japan, China and New Zealand. Australia represents the largest market overall and is the largest market for Bell, followed by Japan, the largest market for Airbus and Leonardo, and China, the largest market for Sikorsky. New Zealand follows these three, with the largest market for MD.
  • In terms of Replacement Cost, the “big four” OEMs (Airbus, Bell, Sikorsky and Leonardo) collectively make up nearly 90% of the market, with Airbus at 43% and the other three making up 47%.
  • Today, the Asia-Pacific fleet includes a wider variety of helicopter mission profiles than ever before, with 54% of the fleet in multi-mission use, followed by 12% for corporate and private, 9% for offshore operations, 7% for SAR and 5% for EMS.  In replacement cost terms, offshore has become the largest segment, with 21% of the fleet, followed by SAR at 11%.
  • A more recent shift in the Asia-Pacific fleet has been the usage by local operators of aircraft dry-leased from dedicated helicopter leasing companies. By yearend 2016, Asia Pacific’s operators were using more than 170 helicopters dry-leased from third parties, with a replacement cost value of approximately US $1.5 billion.
  • Australia had the largest number of leased helicopters at 60, operating in a variety of roles from offshore, EMS and multi-mission. India follows with 28, used mainly in the offshore segment and Indonesia is next with 25, with the majority used for multi-mission operations.
  • The largest lessors in the Asia-Pacific region include Milestone Aviation Group, Waypoint Leasing, Australia & New Zealand Bank (ANZ), Airwork NZ, Lease Corporation International (LCI), and Eagle Copters.   

“With each issue of the Asia Pacific Civil Helicopter Fleet Report, ASG better understands the data and information that readers and the industry need,” says ASG Managing Director, Jeffrey Lowe. “The report is constantly evolving and the Helicopter Leasing Market Overview is an example of that. This a section the industry will find insightful, as this data is limited and often inaccessible. Overall, the Report continues to provide relevant information and has become an indispensable source on business aviation within the Asia-Pacific region.”

The Asia Pacific Civil Helicopter Fleet Report will be distributed in the Asia-Pacific region with a Chinese version made available in China. The report’s release coincides with the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo, held March 6-9 in Dallas, Texas, where ASG will be holding a press conference on Day 1 of the event at 11:00am on the current state of the civil helicopter market in the Asia-Pacific region.


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