The global air ambulance service market size was USD 5.50 Billion in 2021 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 10.5% during the forecast period. Rising incidence of trauma, stroke, and heart attack is expected to drive demand for air medical services. Increasing technological advancements in air ambulance services and latest developments in Urban Air Mobility (UAM) are expected to drive market revenue growth during the forecast period.
An air ambulance is a flight or helicopter service used to safely transport severely ill, wounded, or medically demanding patients from one location to another, and they are stocked with necessary medical instruments, kits, equipment, and machinery. Air ambulances are also staffed by credentialed medical professionals, critical care nurses, and paramedics. In the case of a medical emergency, ambulance services are critical for transportation, and efficient ambulance services can ensure on-time medical assistance for accident victims or people suffering from chronic illnesses, as well as emergency medication problems.
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Air ambulances are outfitted with cutting-edge medical equipment and accessories, as well as competent medical teams specialized in treating patients with immediate emergency medical care. Air ambulance services have advantages over road ambulance services in terms of trip time and access to rural areas. Moreover, air ambulance services are outfitted with modern life-saving equipment. The Federal Aviation Administration has established stringent safety standards for air ambulance services. Air ambulance services may be expensive, and not all families desire to fly their loved ones to an approriate medical facility. However, air ambulance services are quick, dependable, and safe means to transfer patients, and therefore, they are a great option for patients to travel to a medical faclity. Medical transportation should collaborate with insurance companies to provide greatest possible coverage for air ambulance services to increase their adoption and afforadbility.
Traveling long distances by car may be exceedingly challenging for any injured or ill person, especially if the patient is in a critical condition and requires immediate medical treatment. In such a situation, there are few options other than air ambulance services, as an air ambulance is outfitted with all medical supplies required to offer immediate and interim medical care to a patient. Unlike traditional ambulances, which can only carry specific medical equipment and supplies, and are extremely limited in terms of family presence, an air ambulance usually have aeromedical personnel with a greater level of training than other ground ambulance service personnel, and could also have family on board. The cabins of an air ambulance would normally contain pressure, humidity, and ambiance controls, as well as all modern medical supplies. When air ambulance services provide such advanced medical emergency care and treatment, there is greater probability that not only life may be saved, but worsening of the patient’s condition can be avoided as well.
Road trips and ambulance transfers are not particularly difficult, but they can be long and inconvenient, while air ambulance services are entirely trouble-free. The transportation is of the highest quality, and patients experience no pain, whether in transit to and from the aircraft or onboard. Many patients are unable to tolerate the pain of medical transportation, and their health might deteriorate while in travel, particularly on long-distance road trips. Moreover, the medical condition can become serious and life threatening for a patient at times while being transported, which can be caused by delays in route, patient’s discomfort, or lack of adequate medical resources. Such a situation may be prevented with the help of air ambulance services, as these services are completely overseen and arranged by experts who are well-versed in specific medical conditions. They plan the complete schedule that is best for the patient, and such a meticulous preparation and setup always assures that patients are adequately cared for and in perfectly stable condition till they get to their destination. A family and a hospital can, therefore, have a significantly better chance of assuring a patient’s well-being, treatment success, and eventual acceptable recovery using air ambulance services.
Driver: Increasing technological advancements in air ambulance services is a key revenue growth-driving factor
Advancements in air ambulances are occurring in terms of the degree of care offered to patients being evacuated using new and novel medical technologies. In addition, technologically enhanced communication systems enable sending of real-time data of a patient’s health to hospital specialists, allowing doctors to plan for an emergency ahead of time. To give emergency medical care to patients, air ambulances are now outfitted with critical care equipment, such as ventilators, heart monitors, and defibrillators. Increasing technological advancements in air ambulance services is increasing their adoption and driving market revenue growth.
Restraint: Stringent rules regulating emergency medical services is a key factor restraining market revenue growth
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have enforced stringent rules that must be followed by all medical care providers. The FAA has put particular restrictions to decrease the risk of fatalities and accidents while providing any medical treatment. The need for air ambulance services has increased recently as a result of lockdowns imposed in various countries, which have allowed only emergency medical services to function following the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the time-consuming procedure of acquiring approval from the government, as well as necessary COVID-19 testing, have hampered operations of air ambulances. Thus, stringent rules and lengthy procedures are expected to hamper revenue growth of the market during the forecast period.
The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market has been negative. Even though the pandemic has offered opportunities to transport COVID-19 patients, the industry is experiencing a decrease in total patient traffic due to increasing risk of infection. Travel restrictions have had a major impact on delivery of services to neighboring countries. Measures such as screening, testing, and upgrading equipment, different constraints and safety rules have raised the cost of air medical service providers. Governments of several countries determined that social isolation was the best approach to manage the pandemic, and therefore, mandated quarantines and lockdowns. Most sectors and companies throughout the world suffered due to stringent lockdown norms imposed by governments. However, demand for air ambulance services for emergency medical services is expected to have increased due to increased investments in the healthcare domain during the COVID-19 pandemic, as air ambulances have emerged as a safer alternative for protecting patients, families, and crew members, as well as limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Service Operator Outlook:
Based on service operators, the global air ambulance service market has been segmented into hospital based, independent, and government. Independent segment is expected to register a significantly rapid revenue growth rate over the forecast period, owing to increasing collaboration between private and community health groups. The collaboration between community health organizations and business operators with whom they contract exemplifies the benefits that can result from a combined public-private Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) model. The public-private partnership also works, as it takes a long-term approach, offering long-term contracts that provide air service providers with the security they need to make major capital expenditures in equipment, infrastructure, and organizational structures.
Service Type Outlook:
Based on service type, the global air ambulance service market has been segmented into medical service, government service, and community service. The medical service segment is expected to register a significantly rapid revenue growth rate over the forecast period. A hospital often supplies a medical team and collaborates with an aviation service provider for aircraft, pilots, and mechanics under a medical service model. The aviation service provider must have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate and be compensated by the hospital for the service model they provide. The first civilian medical-based helicopter service began in 1972, and presently, almost half a million rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft operate yearly. In certain areas, lack of specialized care and physicians has resulted in surge in utilization of air ambulance services to urgently transfer patients to specialty hospitals.
Community service segment is expected to register a steady revenue growth rate over the forecast period. An independent operator has a basis in a community and serves numerous locales and service models in a community-based service model. The operator is FAA-certified and has its own medical and flying crew. Rising demand for access to healthcare in rural areas has resulted in expansion of community-based air ambulance services. The money under the community-based approach is completely derived from patient transfers rather than set agreements with hospitals. These service models are supported by public donations and/or donations from corporations, and a contract with commercial operators and community healthcare groups is used to supply service models.
Aircraft Type Outlook:
Based on aircraft type, the global air ambulance service market has been segmented into fixed-wing and rotary-wing. The rotary-wing segment is expected to register a significantly rapid revenue growth rate over the forecast period. Rotary-wing air ambulances are most commonly used in emergencies when someone has to be transferred as quickly as possible over a relatively short distance. Their capacity to land practically anywhere makes them valuable in circumstances when a ground ambulance would struggle to reach the patient. Air ambulances with rotor wings are used in place of land ambulances, and they can land practically anywhere, which provide them a distinct edge over slower terrestrial transport. They can also take off and land in a vertical position, and in most cases, they can hover, which makes them useful for rescue operations. Moreover, they can travel very slowly at no additional expense.
Fixed-wing segment is expected to register a steady revenue growth rate over the forecast period. Fixed-wing air ambulances can fly longer distances than rotary-wing aircraft, as they have more fuel capacity. Propeller-driven aircraft are typically utilized for short-distance travel. Some propeller-driven aircraft, known as turboprops, are utilized for long-distance and/or outstation travel. Business jets are utilized for longer-distance service models and can transport more medical equipment and staff than helicopters. Furthermore, fixed-wing aircraft may fly in inclement weather without jeopardizing patient comfort or quality of treatment. The capacity to operate in poor weather conditions, as well as increase in medical tourism, are two major factors increasing demand for fixed-wing air ambulance services.
Based on application, the global air ambulance service market has been segmented into fixed inter-facility, rescue helicopter service, organ transplant logistics, and others. The organ transplant logistics segment is expected to register a significantly rapid revenue growth rate over the forecast period. The procedure of organ transplant requires several medical conditions to be compatible for both the donor and receiver, which is why finding a proper match for an organ transplant becomes quite challenging and is hampered by the inability to transfer organs on time. Air ambulances are completely safe for transporting fragile organs, such as kidneys and livers. However, the selection of an air ambulance is critical in the transporting procedure, and it is also critical to ensure that the aircraft and pilot are always accessible and ready to depart on schedule.
North America is expected to account for largest revenue share in the global market during the forecast period. North America has the maximum number of air ambulance service providers, and the infrastructure needed for air medical transfer is easily accessible in the region. Moreover, attractive reimbursement rules is contributing to revenue growth of the market in this region. In addition, existence of a well-developed healthcare infrastructure is expected to drive revenue growth of the North America air ambulance service market throughout the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is expected to register a significantly robust revenue growth rate over the forecast period. The rapidly expanding medical tourism business in Asia-Pacific countries is increasing need for air ambulance services in the region. According to the Directorate-General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics of India’s study on the Export Health Service model, India had 58,300 medical tourists on medical visas in 2016-2017.
Europe is expected to register a steady revenue CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing demand for air ambulance and expansion of air ambulance services, along with increasing health awareness, are expected to drive revenue growth of the Europe market. Growing incidence of pedestrian deaths in this region is also driving overall revenue growth of the air ambulance service market in Europe.
The competitive landscape of the global air ambulance service market is moderately consolidated with few key players operating on global and regional levels. Key players are engaged in platform development and strategic alliances to expand their respective portfolios and gain a robust footing in the global market. Companies profiled in the global market report include Air Methods Corporation, Acadian Companies, Global Medical Response, Inc., Petroleum Helicopters International (PHI), Inc., Express Aviation Services LLC, Air Charter Service, REVA, Inc., Babcock International Group PLC, European Air Ambulance, and Gulf Helicopters.
- In August 2021, Air Methods Corporation, a top supplier of air medical services, announced the debut of Spright, a newly created drone solution designed to increase healthcare access and eliminate supply difficulties. Spright is collaborating with Wingcopter, an industry-leading German drone manufacturer, to build a drone-based, healthcare-specific delivery network across the United States. This new drone delivery network will give healthcare practitioners and communities they serve better access to critically needed medicinal goods. Air Methods will do this by deploying fleets of the Wingcopter 198, Wingcopter’s new flagship delivery drone.
Segments Covered in the Report
This report offers historical data and forecasts revenue growth at a global, regional, and country-level, and provides an analysis of market trends in each sub-segment from 2019 to 2030. For this report, Reports and Data has segmented the global air ambulance service market based on service operator, service type, aircraft type, application, and region:
Air Ambulance Service Market Report Scope
Segments covered By Service Operator Outlook, Service Type Outlook, Aircraft Type Outlook, Application Outlook, Regional Outlook
By Service Operator Outlook
By Service Type Outlook
By Aircraft Type Outlook
By Application Outlook
Rescue Helicopter Service
Organ Transplant Logistics
Middle East & Africa
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