The Middle-East and Africa helicopters market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of over 2% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).

  • The rise in terrorism, humanitarian crisis, and political instability in the Middle-East and Africa region has led to rise in military spending by regional economic powers such Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, etc. Countries in the region are heavily spending on procurement and upgradation of military helicopters and this factor is driving the growth of helicopters market in the region.
  • The development of the business ecosystem in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc. has subsequently propelled the general aviation industry in the region. The oil-exporting countries in the Middle-East are now developing tourism infrastructure to reduce the dependency on the oil and gas sector for economic growth. This factor is significantly driving the demand for helicopters for VVIP transportation and commercial application in the region.
  • The growing demand for helicopters have also generated demand for the construction and development of new rotorcraft terminals and helipads in the region. For instance, Falcon Aviation Service are planning to open a new rotorcraft terminal in Dubai during second half of 2020. The terminal will be mainly used for helicopter transport services by Falcon Aviation. In 2019, Bell also secured a 12 unit order for 505 light helicopters from Horizon International Flight Academy.

Key Market Trends

Military segment to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate During the Forecast Period

The Middle-East and North African countries have increased their military spending on helicopters to combat terrorism, piracy, and smuggling. In November 2019, United Arab Emirates inked a USD 830 million deal with the United States for the procurement of 10 new CH-47F Chinook troop transport and cargo helicopters. Earlier in 2018, United Arab Emirates signed a USD 242 million contract with The Boeing Company for procurement of 17 refurbished Apache AH-64E helicopters expected to be delivered by 2023. In May 2020, Egypt also signed a USD 2.3 billion contract with the United States for the upgrade of 43 Apache AH-64E helicopters. In December 2019, Israel purchased 5 Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters whose components will be used as spare parts for Israel’s aging fleet of Yasur heavy transport helicopters. Turkey is currently developing a new T629 attack helicopter having a total displacement of 6 tonnes, lighter than its T129 ATAK predecessor. By the second half of 2020, Turkish Aerospace Industries will start delivering ATAK FAZ 2 helicopter gunships. The aforementioned factors and instances are propelling the growth of the military helicopters market in the region.

Saudi Arabia is Expected to Show Significant Growth During the Forecast Period

Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in tourism development under its Saudi Vision 2030 plan which aims at reducing the dependency on oil trade for economic growth. In 2018, significant investments were made from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia on the new The Helicopter Company (THC) which started operating business, VIP, and tourist flights from September 2019 using a dedicated fleet of AW-139 helicopters. Saudi Arabia is also boosting its aircraft producing capabilities. In 2019, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) bought a significant stake in Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) to strengthen its defense aviation technological development capabilities. Saudi Arabia is also one of the largest importers of arms and it is significantly investing in the procurement and development of new military helicopters. In 2017, Saudi Arabia entered into a USD 3.3 billion agreement with Boeing to build new AH-64E helicopters and refurbish the older ones. In November 2019, Boeing also received a USD 10.7 million contract from the Royal Saudi Air Force for the upgrade of 23 AH-6i light attack helicopters.

Competitive Landscape

The Middle-East and Africa helicopters market comprises mostly of foreign players. Some of the prominent players in this market are The Boeing Company, Rostec, Airbus SE, Textron Inc, Leonardo S.p.A., among others. The geography is influenced by both NATO and Russian military technology and this provides a huge opportunity for many global civil and defense helicopter manufacturers to sell their products in the region. Many rotorcraft manufacturers are taking advantage of the booming civil and commercial aviation industry in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Turkey. For instance, in 2020, Kaman Air Vehicles opened a new sales channel in partnership with Trust International Group for sale of K-Max medium-to-heavy lift helicopter in the United Arab Emirates. Product innovation will play a vital role for manufacturers to succeed and attract new customers from this region.

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