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Air Ambulance Services Market Segmented by Type [Rotary-wing, Fixed-wing] | Service Model [Hospital and Community-based]
The global air ambulance services market size was valued at US$ 16 Billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% from 2022 to 2032.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide and represent over 60% of the total deaths. Nearly 80% of the deaths caused by chronic diseases occur in middle- and low-income countries. It is estimated that over 49% of the U.S. population will be affected by chronic diseases by 2025. Cardiac diseases and stroke account for 30% of the deaths in the U.S.
Air Ambulance Services Market Size (2022)
US$ 17.76 Billion
Projected Market Value (2032F)
US$ 50.43 Billion
Global Market Growth Rate (2022-2032)
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the air ambulance market. This can be accredited to an increase in demand for air ambulances over the pandemic duration. For instance, the International Critical Care Air Transfer Team (ICATT), a Bengaluru-based air ambulance service firm, witnessed a 500% increase in demand during the pandemic period.
Before the pandemic, ICATT used to transfer 15 to 20 critically ill patients in a month, which surged to around 300 patients a month. A similar rise in demand was seen globally. Moreover, in order to deal with the rising demand, many market players underwent several strategic changes. For instance, Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex formed a designated critical care transfer team. Furthermore, it was one of the first civilian air ambulances in the U.K. to move ventilated & critical COVID-19 patients via air.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. Stroke is the second most common cause of death worldwide. According to the WHO, it is estimated that by 2022, chronic diseases will account for 3/4th of the total deaths globally, out of which 71% will be caused by ischemic heart diseases and 75% of deaths will be caused by stroke. There has been a drastic increase in global health expenditure since 1980. In 2012, the total global healthcare expenditure was US$ 6.5 trillion annually. The global healthcare expenditure is expected to reach US$ 18.28 trillion by 2040.
Advancements in Geriatric Healthcare anticipated to augment Air Ambulance Services Uptake
The presence of a large population pool over 60 years, which typically has a lower immunity level and is prone to neurological diseases, cardiac problems, cancer, and spinal injuries, is expected to be a high impact-rendering driver for the growth of the market during the forecast period. As per the WHO, globally, the number of people aged 65 or older is anticipated to grow from an estimated 524 million in 2010 to nearly 1.5 billion in 2050.
The geriatric population is highly susceptible to diseases such as arthritis, heart attacks, stroke, osteoporosis, and obesity. Patients suffering from such diseases may require an emergency as well as a non-emergency ambulance service model. Hence, the increasing geriatric population is likely to result in the growth of the air ambulance services demand.
Lack of Healthcare Infrastructure Restraining the Market Growth
The high cost of research to maintain high-quality standards (the use of high-grade, expensive products) and comply with the guidelines set by regulatory authorities is likely to restrain the market growth. Research and academic laboratories find it difficult to afford such expensive instruments due to budget constraints. The major factors that hinder growth of the global air ambulance services market include lack of healthcare infrastructure and inadequate number of aircraft in emerging economies.
Extensive Development of Healthcare Infrastructure Driving Market for Air Ambulance Services
North America dominates the market and is expected to witness a considerable growth rate of 10.8% during the forecast period. North America has the largest number of air ambulance service providers, and the infrastructure required for air medical transportation is also easily accessible. In addition, the presence of favorable reimbursement policies also supports the growth of this region. Moreover, the presence of a highly developed healthcare infrastructure is also expected to drive market growth in the forthcoming years.
The Asia Pacific market is anticipated to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. The presence of developing countries such as China, India, and Japan is anticipated to boost the market growth in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the rapidly growing medical tourism industry in these countries can also be attributed to the increase in demand for air ambulance services in this region. For instance, as per data in Financial Express, between 2017 and 2019, India experienced over 40% growth in FTAs, with the number of tourists increasing from 495,056 in 2017 to 697,000 in 2019.
The European Air Ambulance (EAA), one of the largest air ambulance providers in Europe, created an ‘Infectious Disease Unit’ for the safe transport of COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the EAA invested in Challenger-605, an aircraft that is large and can fly for long ranges. Furthermore, in October 2020, the company introduced transport procedures for COVID-19 patients, to curb the spread of coronavirus. The company also adopted the use of the IsoPod, known as the infectious disease unit, which provides the patient room to roam around, permits less-intensive treatment, and keeps them totally segregated from a non-infected environment.
Why are Suppliers of Air Ambulance Services Investing in the U.S.?
Supportive Government Initiatives & High Spending on Healthcare R&D
The United States is known for its developed healthcare infrastructure and extensive research activity, which makes it a favorable market for Air Ambulance Services. The presence of modern healthcare infrastructure and the presence of leading market players also make the U.S. a highly rewarding market for Air Ambulance Services suppliers and manufacturers. Increasing support from the government of the U.S. is another factor that will uplift Air Ambulance Services market potential over the coming years.
Additionally, according to a WHO report (2012), the U.S. had the highest per capita healthcare expenditure (USD 8,362) and Eritrea had the lowest per capita healthcare expenditure.
How Will the Indian and Chinese Air Ambulance Services Market Evolve?
Increasing Healthcare Expenditure to Boost the Regional Market Growth
Focus on healthcare in China is increasing and this trend was particularly boosted by the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, which is expected to primarily drive Air Ambulance Services market potential in the country through 2032. Increasing healthcare expenditure, and favorable government policies to boost healthcare infrastructure development are other factors that positively impact Air Ambulance Services market growth in China.
India and China have a high prevalence of cardiac diseases. Chronic diseases, such as cardiac diseases and stroke, usually require an emergency medical response. Air ambulance services provide rapid response in case of such emergency medical situations. Air ambulances are equipped with advanced and innovative medical care for cardiac, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders, and trauma patients.
Which Type of Air Ambulance Services Accounts for the Highest Demand?
Rotary-wing Service Model to account for a High Market Share
The term rotary-wing is generally used for a helicopter. Rotary-wing service model held the largest share in the market in 2021. The key advantages of helicopter-based air ambulance services are cost-effectiveness and quick response time. Helicopters serve patients in emergencies, especially when a quick response time is expected. Helicopters are a good substitute for ground ambulances as they can land almost anywhere, including roads, parks, fields, cramped urban areas, and paved areas. However, due to low fuel capacity, they have a short operating range.
The helicopter-based air ambulances can be used in a wide range of situations mainly dealing with emergency response. Hospitals use rotary-wing air ambulance services to transport the medical team to a patient’s location and then escort them back to the hospital. Commonly used helicopters for air ambulance services are Bell 206, 429, & 407; Eurocopter AS350, EC135, BK117, EC145, & EC130; Sikorsky S-76; and Augusta Westland 149 & 109. Some of the key players operating in this market segment are REVA Inc., PHI, AirMed International, Scandinavian Air Ambulance, and Native American Air Ambulance.
Fixed-wing air ambulances can travel long distances as they have better fuel capacity as compared to rotary-wing aircraft. Aircraft with propellers are mostly used for short distances. Some propeller-driven aircraft are also known as turboprops and are sometimes used for long-distance and/or outstation travel. Business jets are used for longer-distance service models and are capable of carrying more medical equipment and personnel as compared to helicopters.
Moreover, fixed-wing aircraft can operate in unpleasant weather conditions without compromising patients’ comfort and quality of care. The ability to operate in adverse weather conditions and a rise in medical tourism are two main reasons that can be attributed to the increase in demand for fixed-wing air ambulance services. The use of a turboprop or a jet is based on the parameters of transport. Some commonly used fixed-wing air ambulances are Learjet 31, 35, & 36; King Air 200, 90; Pilatus PC-12; and Piper Cheyenne. REVA Inc., PHI Air Medical, AirMed International, Scandinavian Air Ambulance, and Native American Air Ambulance are some of the key players
By Service Model, Which Segment is Driving Market Growth?
Hospital-based Segment type is expected to grow at a significant rate
The hospital-based segment held the largest share and is anticipated to witness a considerable growth rate during the forecast period. In a hospital-based service model, a hospital generally provides the medical team and partners with an aviation service provider for aircraft, pilots, and mechanics.
An aviation service provider is required to have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate and is paid by the hospital for the service model offered. Hospital-based service model holds the largest share in the air ambulance market. The first hospital-based helicopter service for civilians started in 1972, and currently around half a million rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft operate annually. The lack of specialty care and medical physicists in some regions has led to an increase in the use of air ambulance services to rapidly transfer patients to specialty hospitals.
The community-based segment is anticipated to witness a considerable growth rate during the forecast period. In a community-based service model, an independent operator has a base set up in a community and serves various localities and service models. The operator has an FAA certificate and employs its own medical and flight crew.
An increase in the need for access to healthcare in rural areas has led to the growth of community-based air ambulance services. In the community-based model, the income is obtained entirely from patient transfers instead of fixed agreements with hospitals. These service models are based on public donations and/or are donated by businesses. Service models are provided through contracts with private operators and community healthcare organizations. Air Evac Lifeteam is one of the biggest community-based operators.
Top companies in the Air Ambulance Services market are focusing on advancing their research and fast-tracking the development of new Air Ambulance Services to launch new products and gain a competitive advantage over other market players.
Major players are channelling efforts toward expanding their production capacities to strengthen their market share and cater to the growing demand for fatty amides. Market expansion is anticipated to be aided by the growing number of partnerships and collaborations among key players that are looking to increase their presence in the market.
By Service Model
The global Air Ambulance Services market accounts for a revenue of US$ 17.76 billion in 2022.
The global market for Air Ambulance Services is expected to reach US$ 50.43 billion by 2032.
Demand for Air Ambulance Services from 2022 to 2032 is projected to expand at a stellar CAGR of 11%.
By 2032, the rotary-wing segment dominated the market for air ambulance services and held the largest revenue share of 76.77%.
Key suppliers of Air Ambulance Services are AMR; PHI Air Medical; Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance; Express Air Medical Transport; REVA, Inc.; Lifeguard Ambulance Service LLC.; Acadian Ambulance; IAS Medical, Ltd.; American Air Ambulance.