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Offshore helicopter market ‘starting to recover’, report claims

An AugustaWestland AW189 helicopter
An AugustaWestland AW189 helicopter

The offshore helicopter market “has finally started to recover” after three years of difficulty,  a new report by Westwood claims.

Data presented by Westwood Global Energy Group suggests that due to the upswing in offshore project sanctioning there will be exponential growth in the helicopter marketplace.

The helicopter market report forecasts that the sector can expect to see more than £12 billion in expenditure between 2018-2022, with offshore wind related helicopter expenditure calculated to grow by 39%.

Westwood said the sector had “reorganised, restructured and recognised” over the last few years.

Steve Robertson, director and head of oilfield services, said: “Exploration and production (E&P) companies have reigned in expenditure during the downturn. Non-essential operations have been cancelled. Crew rotations are now at longer intervals and fewer aircraft are in the air.

“With the focus on cost, oil companies have been successful at negotiating lower standby rates and are working the rotorcraft they do have contracted harder.”

Last month, helicopter firm Airbus announced it expects the growing offshore wind transport market to add £8 billion to its balance sheet over the next two decades.

Airbus identified wind farms as a business segment undergoing growth and said that it “expects demand for up to a thousand helicopters over the coming two decades”.

The firm confirmed it would provide supply, maintenance and crew transport to a growing number of offshore wind developments.

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