Helicopter leasing fleet to reach 15% by 2030: IBA


AW139s are among the most popular models for lease placements. (Photocredit: Leonardo Helicopters).

The leased helicopter fleet is predicted to reach 15% by 2030, after topping 10% in 2023, according to market intelligence and advisory firm IBA.

More than 300 lease transactions were recorded in 2022 and 2023, with the growth in both years exceeding previous years. “A key driver in the growth of the leasing market is the shift towards helicopters in multi-role configurations which increases the end user appeal, thereby expanding the range of possible leasing options,” said IBA.

Airbus H125s, H135s and H145s and Leonardo AW139s are said to be the popular models for lease placements. While growth is expected in all helicopter weight categories, the heavy class – a segment dominated by Airbus and Sikorsky – is still lagging. Despite this trend, IBA expects renewed demand for heavy offshore helicopters.

Although demand for offshore helicopters is mainly linked to oil and gas prices, new safety requirements for offshore oil and gas operations and technological advances for offshore aircraft have also said to have fuelled fleet renewal orders.

Helicopter deliveries last year were in line with IBA’s previous forecasts of about 500 units. Steady market values and lease rates through to 2025 are predicted, as supply chain issues are gradually resolved.

OEM’s projected growth in global fleets is likely to exceed the number of retiring helicopters as demand for new equipment surges, added IBA. But the number of helicopter retirements is expected to rise – particularly  in the US, driving higher levels of fleet replenishment.

In Asia, IBA reported growing demand for emergency medical services (EMS) helicopters. The availability of finance in the region is said to have enabled new investment in the EMS sector.

New market opportunities were also identified for models that can perform firefighting and offshore farm support missions.

IBA’s latest analysis of the helicopter market was delivered during its recent webinar.

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