Chinese helicopter additions boost Asia-Pacific fleet
The latest data from Asian Sky Group shows that the Asia-Pacific helicopter fleet grew by nine per cent in 2014, aided largely by growth on the Chinese mainland.
The figures, which exclude Australia and New Zealand, shows that there were a total of 2,463 helicopters in Asia-Pacific at the end of 2014.
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Out of the 17 countries included in the survey, 11 experienced growth, with the remaining six countries staying flat.
The biggest growth was in mainland China, where the fleet grew by 29 per cent, reaching 655 helicopters. Elsewhere, Japan’s helicopter fleet grew by a modest three per cent in 2014.
Speaking at the Heli-Expo event in Orlando, Florida, Jeffrey Lowe, managing director of Asian Sky Group, tipped China to overtake Japan as the largest Asia-Pacific helicopter market in the next few years.
According the the company’s annual civil helicopter fleet report: “The Greater China fleet saw a strong expansion in 2014, growing at a rate of nearly 30 per cent and reaching a total number of 655 helicopters. The increased easing of airspace regulations and the establishment of new aviation support infrastructure in Mainland China has led to a surge in demand for helicopters in a wide range of applications.”