The Asia-Pacific civil turbine helicopter leasing fleet stood at 246 helicopters at yearend 2020 – a decrease of nine units since 2019. The market, which had been growing until 2018, has now experienced two consecutive years of decline – falling by 1.5% in 2019 and a further 3.5% in 2020. Papua New Guinea saw the steepest decline in leased units, losing ten helicopters, while Australia experienced the biggest increase with the addition of five more helicopters.
Milestone Aviation retained the top spot as the largest lessor in the Asia-Pacific region with 71 helicopters in its fleet. Airwork and LCI came second and third with 36 and 24 helicopters in operation as of yearend 2020, respectively.
In terms of fleet value, the ‘Big Four’ lessors — Milestone, LCI, Airwork and Macquarie – those with over $177 million of leased assets, accounted for more than 70% of the total fleet value; boasting assets of US$1.2B, $351M, US$272M, and US$172M, respectively.
Airbus was the market leader with a fleet of 91 (37% market share) leased helicopters as of yearend 2020. Leonardo and Bell came next with leased fleets of 69 (28% market share) and 55 (23% market share) helicopters, respectively. The Leonardo AW139 was the most popular leased helicopter model with 54 units (22%). The Airbus H125 with 25 units (10%) was the second most popular leased helicopter model, followed by the Bell 412 with 21 leased units (9%).
Around 40% (97 units) of the helicopters leased have a utility configuration and are used for multi-mission operations, followed by offshore O&G and EMS configured helicopters – with 27% (69 units) and 20% (48 units) of the total leased fleet. 2020 saw the most net reductions in the EMS configured leased fleets – by four units.
The majority of leased helicopters belonged to the medium-sized category – 105 units (around 43% of the total leased fleet), followed by single-engine and heavy-size models, with 65 (around 26%) and 57 (around 23%), respectively.
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