Air Ambulance services are refers to as medically equipped aircrafts that are used to carry the patients both internationally and domestically with medical emergencies. Air ambulance services offer broad range of benefits that includes; mitigating the risk of road congestion and traffic, help in organ transportation and in multiple casualties among others. Additionally, it offers flexibility, convenience, and safety.
Growing government efforts to improve emergency care, rapidly growing medical tourism and growing geriatric population and susceptibility of illness are the factors fuelling the market growth. However, high cost of services hinders the market growth.
The global air ambulance services market was valued USD 6 billion in 2019 growing at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period.
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Over the past few years the air ambulance services has witnessed substantial growth across the globe. The growth is attributed to surge in government initiatives in developing countries such as China, India, Japan and Indonesia among others to boost the public health infrastructure. For instance, Japanese government has developed an advanced system supporting air ambulances services to provide better life support. Also, in June 2016, China’s State Council has issued a guideline for promoting the aviation industry to strengthen the use of aviation in disaster relief, medical emergency and other applications.
Moreover, many developing economies have started to collaborate with private firms to develop air ambulance services to boost medical infrastructure. For instance, in June 2017, Tamil Nadu, a state in India has signed an agreement with air ambulance service providers to lift patients in case of multiple casualties. Also, uses of helicopters as air ambulance services in many developed economies are commonly available.
The global air ambulance services are segmented into type and application.
On the basis of type, the global air ambulance services market has been segmented into fixed wing and Rotary wing.
Rotary wing holds higher CAGR and is anticipated to growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to ability to take off and land from smaller ground area. Moreover, rotary wing helicopters are widely used in developed economies to transfer patient for short distance or from accident scene to hospital. For instance, according to National Security and Aerospace News Magazines “Force” there are approximately more than 30% helicopters across the globe offering medical and other similar services. Also, surge in investment in developing economies to improve medical infrastructure in the country is also one of the factors fuelling the demand for air ambulance services market. For instance, in May 2018, Wings Aviation Pvt Ltd. has launched air ambulance services in Hyderabad, India with an investment of approximately USD 1.5 billion. Additionally, the company has collaborated with some of the leading private hospitals like Apollo hospital for construction of helipads to ensure smooth landing.
On the basis of application, the global air ambulance services market has been segmented into Hospital and Community
In a pure hospital-based service, the hospital provides medical services and staff to air ambulance providers for the aviation component.Hospital based holds largest market share and is anticipated to witness growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to presence of multi specialist hospitals in developed economies which offers air ambulance services. For instance, in June 2018, The Ganga hospital in Coimbatore, India has launched first air ambulance services to ensure quick medical services for multiple casualties. The minimum cost of air ambulance services involve approximately; USD 1400 per hour.
In the community-based segment, the aviation operator owns the air medical service and it contracts or hires medical direction, flight nurses, and paramedics and provides the aircraft, pilots, mechanics, and patient billing. Community based is usually donated by business or from public donation.
In September 2018, Irish Community and Rapid Response (ICRR) had signed a five-year contract with U.K-based Company Sloane Helicopters to establish Ireland’s first community air ambulance service.The service would be operated through a call system by the National Ambulance Service at its National Emergency Operations Centre.
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.
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North America holds largest market share in air ambulance services and is presumed to grow during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to presence of developed infrastructure, favorable reimbursement policies and regulatory framework. Moreover, the air ambulance market is exponentially increased in the past few years in U.S. For instance, According to University of Chicago Aeromedical Network, nearly 900 helicopters are making 300,000 flights each year in the U.S. Additionally, the casualties of heart attack re higher in U.S. which also creates demand for air ambulance services. For instance, according to the CDC (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) every year about 735,000 Americans suffers from a heart attack or heart disease and claiming 1 in 7 deaths. This can be reduced if speedy treatment services like air ambulance are provided to patients. Moreover, presence of major vendors offering air ambulance services also play a vital role in the development of market.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in air ambulance services market on account of significant government efforts to improve health infrastructure. Moreover, increased population and socioeconomic development have driven the demand for automobiles. However, the number of road accidents has also increased. According to NDTV, around 1,214 road crashes occur every day in India. This enables the demand for air ambulance services to for quick medication. Furthermore, growing government initiatives across the region is also one of the factors propelling the market growth. For instance, Japanese government has passed a bill for special measures concerning securing of helicopter emergency medical services for promoting deployment of air ambulance.Additionally, increasing investment from enterprises to cater the growing demand for air ambulance services also led to development of market. For instance, according to Airbus, in 2018, there was demand for the more than 3,000 emergency medical choppers in China.
The key players in global air ambulance services market has adopted organic as well as inorganic growth strategies that include; partnerships and collaborations, product launch, mergers and acquisitions to expand its geographical reach. Some of the prominent key players are; Express AirMed Transport; Native American Air Ambulance; Lifeguard Air Ambulance, AMR; PHI Air Medical; Scandinavian Air Ambulance; IAS Medical; REVA Air Ambulance; Acadian