The global air ambulance service market is anticipated to witness substantial growth in China and other regions over the forecast period (from 2017 to 2022). Prevalence of serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders (CVDs) and rising cases of accidents needing emergency medical response are expected to drive the overall market.
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Increasing awareness is also likely to spur the market in China and around the world over the next few years. In addition, easy availability of effective reimbursement policies in various developed nations including the United States may enable people to avail air ambulance services despite high prices. This is anticipated to propel the global market in forthcoming years. Moreover, increased per capita healthcare spending is also projected to boost the overall market growth.
Air ambulances mainly use helicopters as they can be landed in remote areas. A US-based air ambulance company UCX MedFlight recently announced the launch of their new global air ambulance services. They aim to bring revolutionary changes in fixed-wing air ambulance industry with innovative ideas and technologies. The unreliability of this industry affects insurance and travel assistance companies. The lack of consumer service along with inconsistent training programs and non-transparent billing services are very common in the industry. The company aims to change all this with their new global services.
The global and Chinese air ambulance service market is categorized as per type, service model and, region. Based on type, the market is bifurcated into fixed-wing and rotary-wing services. Rotary-wing services including helicopter-based medical transport services dominated the global market in the recent past. Fixed-wing services on the other hand, are the specialized aircraft equipped with advanced medical services and a dedicated crew. This segment mostly includes business and private jets. These services are majorly used in case of longer distances.
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Based on service model, the market is categorized into community-based and hospital-based. Hospital-based air ambulance services led the global market in the past. The segment is expected to continue the dominance even during the forecast period. Community-based services are offered through partnerships with various community health organizations and private companies. For example, Air Methods Inc. provides many community-based programs such as Air Idaho Rescue in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
Based on region, the market is divided into Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), and China. North America accounted for a major market share in 2016. Factors such as availability of flexible reimbursement and advanced infrastructure were responsible for the market growth in this region. Asia Pacific is projected to exhibit a strong growth rate over the forecast period.
Rapidly developing economy is anticipated to be a key regional growth driver. Nations like China are on the front lines of global investments in this region. Air ambulance services have a great development potential in China and the rest of Asia Pacific. This is mainly due to the companies like Qian Siwei’s China Air Medical Service Ltd. that offer various discount schemes. According to the company, they can cut prices for a helicopter evacuation by almost 50% in some cases. Freeing up reserved military airways for ambulatory services is also considered as a positive step toward the overall market growth.
Major companies operating in the global and Chinese air ambulance service market include PHI Air Medical LLC; Air Ambulance Specialists Inc. (AMR); Express AirMed Transport; Scandinavian AirAmbulance; Acadian Air Med; and Native American Air Ambulance, Inc. launch of innovative products and technologies is one of the key business strategies adopted by market players to improve customer base and market position.
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