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Air Ambulance Services Market

Air Ambulance Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Fixed wing, Rotary wing), By Application (Hospital, Community) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAD1325DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 7.2%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 7.9 billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 14.9 billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global air ambulance services market size was valued at USD 7.9 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 14.9 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period (2024-2032). Growing government attempts to improve emergency care, quickly increasing medical tourism, a growing senior population, and illness susceptibility are all factors driving the air ambulance services market growth.

Air ambulance services entail transporting patients, typically in critical condition, via aircraft to obtain emergency medical care. These services are essential in emergency medical situations, providing quick and efficient transportation, particularly in cases where traditional ground ambulance services are impractical due to remote locations, natural disasters, or the need for long-distance transfers between medical facilities.

Factors such as rising rates of trauma, stroke, and heart attacks drive demand for air medical services. In contrast, rapid technical improvements in air ambulance services generate prospects for market expansion worldwide. However, tight aviation licensing rules, the high cost of air medical services, and reimbursement issues hinder the global expansion of the air ambulance services market. Furthermore, the expansion of the urban air mobility (UAM) platform and the acquisition of Asia-Pacific's untapped potential provide various chances for the global expansion of the air ambulance services market.

Top 2 Key Highlights

  • Rotary wing accounts for the largest share based on type.
  • The hospital generates the highest revenue share of the market by application.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Government Initiatives and Investment

Government support and investments in emergency medical care infrastructure, such as air ambulance fleets and medical facilities, fuel market growth. Public-private collaborations and regulatory reforms also help to drive market expansion. Government activities and investments in emergency medical services, particularly air ambulance operations, have been visible in various programs and legislation in the United States. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) play important roles in regulating and supporting air ambulance services. European Air Ambulance (EAA) is one of Europe's leading service providers, providing global air ambulance repatriation. EAA operates four air ambulance aircraft, three Bombardier Learjet 45XR and one Bombardier Challenger 605. EAA and its Air Alliance partners collaborate to offer global air ambulance coverage. EAA intends to extend its long-range air ambulance operations in 2024 in response to rising demand and favorable outcomes. 

In addition, in India, due to the numerous incidents on the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway, the state government has decided to deploy flying ambulances along the route to offer immediate medical aid to injured people. Similarly, on April 28, 2023, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren launched the 'Air Ambulance Service' at Birsa Munda Airport to provide emergency health care to the state's residents. According to a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), government funding substantially impacts the growth and sustainability of air ambulance services. Adequate funding and regulatory monitoring support the expansion and improvement of these services. Government actions and investments are critical parts of the air ambulance services ecosystem. Collaboration among governments, regulatory organizations, and service providers helps ensure air ambulance services' successful and safe functioning worldwide.

Market Restraints

High Operational Cost

Air ambulance services incur significant operational expenditures, including aircraft maintenance, fuel charges, medical equipment, and recruiting experienced medical staff. The substantial operating overhead is a considerable hurdle for providers in maintaining and extending their services. The average cost of operating an air ambulance flight in the United States is from USD 6,000 to USD 13,000. An air ambulance flight costs approximately USD 36,000. However, the cost of an air ambulance flight can range from USD 12,000 to USD 55,000. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, the average cost of an air ambulance service in India ranges between INR 1 lakh and five lakhs (about USD 1,400 to 7,000) per hour. The cost varies according to the distance, aircraft type, and amount of medical care supplied. 

Additionally, air ambulance providers frequently charge high rates for their services. For example, a report by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified cases where patients were charged exorbitant fees for air ambulance services, adding to concerns regarding affordability. In the United States, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation indicated that, despite being insured, patients occasionally received outstanding bills of thousands of dollars due to the high operational costs of air ambulance operators. Rural air ambulance services, critical for providing prompt medical care in remote places, frequently suffer financial difficulties. According to a United States Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, rural air ambulance operators struggled with financial sustainability, partly attributed to high operating expenses. Hence, The high operational expenses connected with air ambulance services influence service providers' financial health and patients' access to these important services. 

Market Opportunity

Global Medical Tourism

The rise of medical tourism creates considerable opportunities for air ambulance services. Patients seeking specialist medical treatments in different countries may need air transportation to ensure effective and timely transfers. Air ambulance operators can tap into the burgeoning market of medical tourists by providing safe and timely transportation for anyone seeking healthcare treatments abroad. This adds to the globalization of air ambulance services. In 2023, the Indian government announced the Ayush Visa category to boost travel healthcare in the country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Ayush are collaborating with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) to create the "One Step" Heal in India platform to promote medical value travel. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also announced USD 14.8 billion in loans for infrastructure, working capital, and personal loans to tourism-related businesses. 

Furthermore, the Medical Tourism Association is established on strong, long-term partnerships to realize the industry's full potential. The Medical Tourism Association (MTA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to lowering the obstacles to inexpensive, transparent, and world-class healthcare. The MTA has collaborated with and helped create the industry's major brands, including South Korea, Dubai, Washington DC, the State of Florida, and Abu Dhabi. The MTA works with South Korea annually to expand marketing campaigns, coordinate private buyer events, and develop new market-boosting measures.

Moreover, air ambulance services are essential for efficiently transporting medical tourists between nations. The necessity for prompt and dependable transportation becomes clear, especially when time-sensitive interventions or rapid post-operative care are necessary. Some areas with advanced medical facilities may draw international patients. Countries such as India, Thailand, and Mexico are popular destinations for medical tourists because they offer high-quality healthcare services for a fraction of the expense of wealthy countries.

Regional Analysis

The global air ambulance services market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

North America is the most significant global air ambulance services market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% over the forecast period. The rise is attributable to developed infrastructure, advantageous reimbursement policies, and a regulatory framework. Furthermore, the air ambulance market in the United States has grown tremendously in recent years. For example, the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network reports that over 900 helicopters carry out 300,000 flights in the United States annually. Furthermore, heart attack casualties are higher in the United States, increasing demand for air ambulance services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality globally, killing an estimated 17.9 million people each year. 

As a result of the shortage of emergency medical services and infrastructure, the need for air ambulance services has surged across the country. This can be lessened if patients receive prompt treatment services, such as air ambulances. Furthermore, the existence of prominent vendors providing air ambulance services has a significant impact on market development. Again, in February 2022, PAL Aerospace inked a contract with EHS LifeFlight and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to provide fixed-wing air ambulance services in Nova Scotia, Canada. Growing investments by various original equipment manufacturers and companies in the North American region to improve air ambulance services during medical emergencies will likely drive market expansion. These reasons will contribute to the market's significant rise throughout the forecast period. 

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 8.0% over the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is the fastest expanding region in the air ambulance services market, owing to strong government efforts to strengthen healthcare infrastructure. Furthermore, the rising population and socioeconomic progress have boosted the demand for autos. However, the number of road accidents has climbed. According to NDTV, over 1,214 traffic crashes occur each day in India. This increases the demand for air ambulance services to provide fast medication. Furthermore, increased government initiatives in the region are one of the factors driving market growth. For example, the Japanese government has implemented legislation to secure helicopter emergency medical services and promote the deployment of air ambulances.

Furthermore, increased business investment to meet the growing demand for air ambulance services contributed to market growth. China's ambulance service spending is expected to reach 5,500 billion yuan in 2023, representing a 13.2% annual increase from 2018. China recently held the country's largest comprehensive emergency rescue aviation exercise, demonstrating systematic progress in its independent aviation emergency rescue equipment field in recent years and validating the results of tactics research, scientific innovation, equipment development, and actual application.

Europe had a decent market share in the base year. Well-developed healthcare systems and a strong emphasis on patient safety and quality of care drive the market's expansion. The region's robust regulatory frameworks, defined standards, and efficient transportation networks all help to drive the market growth for air ambulance services.

The Middle East Africa, and Latin America markets will likely expand significantly throughout the projection period. The expansion is linked to increased spending on healthcare infrastructure. Furthermore, improved healthcare access and increased disposable incomes drive market expansion.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Fixed wing
  2. Rotary wing
By Application
  1. Hospital
  2. Community
Company Profiles Express AirMed Transport Native American Air Ambulance Lifeguard Air Ambulance AMR PHI Air Medical Scandinavian Air Ambulance IAS Medical REVA Air Ambulance Acadian
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global air ambulance services market is segmented based on type and application.

The market is further segmented by type into Fixed wing and rotary wing.

The rotary wing exhibits a higher CAGR and is expected to grow during the projection period. Rotary-wing aircraft, sometimes known as helicopters, are a type of air ambulance used for medical delivery. Unlike fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters can take off and land vertically, allowing them to access distant or inaccessible places and metropolitan environments with limited landing space. Rotary-wing air ambulances are incredibly agile and can swiftly reach accident scenes or remote regions where ground ambulances may encounter difficulties. These aircraft are outfitted with medical equipment and staffed by trained medical workers to offer emergency medical care while in transit.

Furthermore, the capacity to take off and land from smaller ground areas has contributed to the increase. Again, rotary-wing helicopters are extensively utilized in developed economies to transport patients over short distances or from the accident site to the hospital. For example, National Security and Aerospace News Magazine's "Force" reports that more than 30% of helicopters worldwide provide medical and comparable functions. Another factor driving demand for air ambulance services is increased investment in developing economies to upgrade medical facilities.

Fixed-wing aircraft are a popular type of air ambulance for long-distance medical deliveries and international missions. These aircraft have various advantages over rotary-wing aircraft, including faster cruising speeds, more extensive ranges, and excellent stability. Fixed-wing air ambulances are frequently outfitted with advanced medical equipment and facilities to offer critical treatment en route. They are ideal for carrying patients over long distances or international borders, providing a speedier and more efficient mode of medical transportation. Fixed-wing air ambulances help move patients between hospitals, repatriate people from other countries, and carry severely ill or injured patients to specialized medical facilities.

By application, the market can be further bifurcated into Hospitals and Communities.

Hospitals rely heavily on air ambulance services. Air ambulances transport patients between medical facilities, ensuring prompt specialist care and treatment access. Hospital applications include inter-facility transfers, which take patients from one hospital to another for specialist treatments, procedures, or consultations. Air ambulances are crucial in easing the transfer of patients who require higher levels of care or access to advanced medical facilities that are not available where they are currently located. Hospital applications promote rapid and safe patient transportation, allowing healthcare providers to conduct comprehensive and prompt medical interventions.

Community-based air ambulance services are focused on meeting the immediate needs of communities and individuals within a specific geographic area. These applications frequently involve emergency medical services (EMS) responding to emergencies, accidents, or disasters in the community. Community-based air ambulance services provide immediate response and medical help to people in rural or difficult-to-reach areas when ground transportation is limited or delayed. They play an essential role in pre-hospital care by stabilizing patients and delivering them to proper medical institutions for further treatment. Community applications of air ambulance services prioritize providing emergency medical care and support to individuals in the community, resulting in better outcomes and survival rates for patients in critical condition.

Market Size By Type

Market Size By Type
  • Fixed wing
  • Rotary wing
  • Impact of covid-19

    The impact of COVID-19 has unprecedented effect across all industrial vertical globally. However, the demand for air ambulance services has significantly increasedamid pandemic COVID-19 on account of exponential surge in COVID-19 patients globally which created the dire need for emergency services for critical patients. Thus, to meet the growing demand for many governments and major aviation industry collaborate to offers air ambulance services during this critical scenario. For instance, in September 2020, Karnataka Government, a state in India has launched air ambulance services to offer adequate medical facilities to people during this pandemic COVID-19.

    Recent Developments

    Top Key Players

    Air Ambulance Services Market Share of Key Players

    Air Ambulance Services Market Share of Key Players
    Express AirMed Transport Native American Air Ambulance Lifeguard Air Ambulance AMR PHI Air Medical Scandinavian Air Ambulance IAS Medical REVA Air Ambulance Acadian Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the Market?
    Air Ambulance Services industry size will grow at approx. CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.
    Largest Air Ambulance Services companies are, Express AirMed Transport, Native American Air Ambulance, Lifeguard Air Ambulance, AMR, PHI Air Medical, Scandinavian Air Ambulance, IAS Medical, REVA Air Ambulance, Acadian, etc.
    In the Market, North America has established itself as the market leader with a significant market share.
    The Asia Pacific region is projected to exhibit the highest rate of growth in the Air Ambulance Services Market.
    The global Air Ambulance Services industry report is segmented as follows: By Type, By Application

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