The Europe air ambulance services market share witnessed significant growth and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 12.1% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Air ambulances—fixed-wing or rotor-wind planes or helicopters with medical equipment and an intensive care unit—can reach medical crises, patient transfers, and vital rescue operations that ground vehicles cannot.
European air ambulance services market characteristics vary. First, more accidents and medical emergencies require emergency medical transportation. Second, chronic diseases and an aging population require expert medical transportation. Europe's advanced medical facilities and legal requirements boost the air ambulance services business. Air ambulance services' reduced flight time and greater patient care also expand Europe's market.
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With a rapidly aging population, Europe is undergoing a massive demographic upheaval. This demographic group frequently requires specialist medical attention and transfer in emergencies, resulting in a greater demand for air ambulance services. The European population is progressively aging. According to the European Commission, the proportion of the population aged 65 and above will rise from 19% in 2018 to 28% in 2050. In Germany, for example, between 2010 and 2015, the number of air ambulance missions grew by 25%. This is because Germany has one of the oldest populations in Europe, with more than 21% of the population aged 65 and over. According to the European Society of Cardiology, cardiovascular disorders are common among the older population, accounting for a considerable proportion of emergency medical cases requiring air ambulance services.
Air ambulance services have large operating costs, including aircraft maintenance, fuel, medical equipment, and highly qualified personnel. These high operational expenses can burden air ambulance firms' finances, particularly smaller or regional ones. The European Air Ambulance Association said that the average cost of an air ambulance flight in Europe is EUR 10,000. According to the survey, the average reimbursement rate from insurance companies is only EUR 6,000. This implies that most air ambulance businesses lose money on every journey. Furthermore, reimbursement issues from insurance companies and government healthcare systems might negatively influence the financial sustainability of air ambulance services.
Using new medical technology and equipment in air ambulance services improves patient care and results. Telemedicine capabilities, improved life support equipment, and real-time monitoring systems are transforming the delivery of medical treatment during flight travel. Air ambulance services equipped with telemedicine technology, for example, in Europe, can facilitate consultations between emergency physicians, specialists, and other healthcare professionals to make critical decisions about patient treatment, guide medical interventions, and coordinate care with receiving facilities. Research published in the journal ""Critical Care"" discovered that telemedicine in air ambulance services significantly improved patient outcomes. The study discovered that patients receiving telemedicine treatment were more likely to survive their transfer and had fewer problems. Thus, this can open more opportunities for the market.
The market is analyzed in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, and the rest of Europe. Germany is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast period.
The European HEMS and Air Ambulance Committee (EHAC) is a trade group that represents European organizations that provide emergency helicopter and plane air ambulance services. EHAC was created in 2000 by firms such as Allgenmeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) Air Rescue (Germany), Christophorus Air-Rescue (Austria), and Swiss AirRescue (Rega) (Switzerland). The organization strives to provide patients with high-quality emergency air medical services. EHAC collaborates with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on air rescue and ambulance missions. EHAC assures that its member organizations conform to Europe's highest standards in air rescue services. EHAC also develops training programs for medical professionals, flight operators, and technical employees, such as Aeromedical Crew Resource Management (ACRM), which the European Union co-funds. It also provides guidelines and suggestions that its members must adhere to.
There are currently around 360 HEMS helicopter facilities in Europe, with other fixed-wing air ambulance bases providing cross-border or inter-continental services such as medical repatriation. HEMS helicopters respond to short and medium-distance crises while fixed-wing aircraft respond to long-distance emergencies. Helicopters have conducted about 1 million missions since introducing HEMS in Germany. Patients choose HEMS services because the speed and time advantage they give are critical in a terrible case where minutes count to save a life.
Various state governments are trying to give medical assistance to critically ill COVID-19 patients. Due to the difficulties in obtaining services, the Luxembourg government, for example, asked European Air Ambulance (EAA) to fly patients between hospitals in France. EAA created measures to safeguard the safety of its patients as well as its medical and flying crew. Airbus, a French helicopter manufacturer, collaborated with industrial, technological, and engineering firms from the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors to assist the UK government in producing extra medical ventilators. Furthermore, the corporation is utilizing its aircraft to give masks and vaccinations to hospitals and other public agencies around Europe.
The Europe air ambulance services market is segmented based on type, application, and country.
The market is further segmented by type into Rotary wing and fixed wing.
The rotary wing contributes a major market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period.
Rotary-wing aircraft, predominantly helicopters, are frequently used in medical transportation for short distances that must be completed quickly. As a result, helicopters are commonly utilized in emergency response services worldwide. Their ability to land almost anywhere makes them useful when a ground ambulance struggles to reach the patient. Rotary-winged aircraft are disadvantaged when flying long distances due to their low fuel capacity.
Fixed-wing aircraft are those with fixed wings propelled by jet engines or propellers. As they require frequent refueling, they are more frequently employed for long-distance travel. Fixed-wing aircraft are widely utilized in the medical tourism industry and for transporting very ill patients to the proper medical facility for specialized care.
The market is further segmented into Hospital-based community-based by application.
Community-based holds a major market share and is expected to register a CAGR of 12.4% over the forecast period.
Since they are more familiar with local demand, community-based operations are anticipated to make up a sizeable percentage of the air ambulance sector. Most companies in the industry are nonprofit organizations or community-based organizations that collect money through regional fundraisers. Members who donate money to the cause benefit from using the air ambulance services.
Air ambulances utilized by healthcare organizations to move patients, attend to emergency outside patients, and undertake organ donation missions are examples of hospital-based services. They can be government-funded or private-hospital-funded, with transportation costs paid in addition to the patient's treatment costs. Hospital-based services have risen in popularity over the last decade. Still, they have recently learned that contracting a private air ambulance operator is significantly more cost-efficient than investing in owning and maintaining aircraft.