GVR Report cover Europe Air Ambulance Services Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Europe Air Ambulance Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Rotary Wing, Fixed Wing), By Model (Hospital-based, Community-based), By Country, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-509-7
  • Number of Pages: 100
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2016 - 2019
  • Industry: Healthcare

Report Overview 

The Europe air ambulance services market size was valued at USD 5.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% from 2021 to 2028. The rising prevalence of chronic disorders, increasing geriatric population, and technological advancement are major factors driving this market’s growth. Moreover, developments, such as online booking of ambulance services, are creating a positive outlook for the European market. Furthermore, increasing emergency healthcare expenditure, rising number of hospitals providing air ambulance services, and enhancing medical facilities across Europe are other factors supporting market growth.

Europe air ambulance services market size, by type, 2018 - 2028 (USD Billion)

The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiac diseases, and cancer amongst other chronic disorders has surged the demand for air ambulance services. Factors such as the adoption of unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles, obesity, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and physical inactivity are contributing to an upsurge in the prevalence of these diseases. For instance, according to the WHO, there are around 60 million people with diabetes in the European region. In event of a medical emergency, air ambulances are a vital solution. They are equipped with medical equipment and staff that provide medical care in flight. The non-medical personnel help in transporting patients and organs. These services offer numerous benefits, such as convenience, safety, and flexibility. Thus, advantages offered by air ambulances and the growing burden of chronic diseases are factors boosting market growth.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most common causes of death in Europe. According to the European Heart Network AISBL, CVD each year causes around 3.9 million deaths in Europe and above 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU). It accounts for 45% of all deaths in Europe and 37% of all deaths in the EU. Most chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, require immediate medical attention. Advanced and innovative medical care is provided in air ambulances to patients suffering from heart disease. As a result, air ambulance services are available to provide rapid response in these situations.

Increasing healthcare expenditure in Europe is further expected to contribute to the growth of the market for air ambulance services. According to the Eurostat, in 2018, healthcare expenditure accounted for 9.9% of GDP. Amongst the EU Member States, the major shares were reported in Germany (11.5% of GDP), France (11.3%), and Sweden (10.9%). Moreover, as per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2019, Switzerland had the second-highest healthcare budget after the U.S., with expenditures accounting for USD 8,000 per capita.

Technological developments in air ambulance services are stimulating market growth. Air ambulances are fortified with innovative medical devices and accessories such as a heart monitor, defibrillator, and a ventilator that offer preliminary emergency medical care to patients. The high-tech encroachments in communication systems in an air ambulance enable the transfer of real-time patients' health data to medical experts, letting doctors prepare for the emergency in advance.

Furthermore, an upsurge in per capita healthcare spending is likely to have a positive effect on the salaries of medical experts, treatment facilities, and hospital administration. It also helps decrease the cost of medical procedures and medications. Moreover, growth in per capita healthcare expenses might benefit in overcoming the challenge of shortage of medical professionals and facilities. An escalation in the availability of these resources is projected to further propel the growth of the market.

The presence of a large population over 60 years old that usually possess lower immunity levels and is more susceptible to chronic diseases, is a factor expected to have a significant impact on market growth over the forecast period. For instance, as per the Eurostat statistics, in Europe, the population of people aged 65 years or more is expected to upsurge considerably, increasing from 90.5 million in 2019 to reach 129.8 million by 2050. The elderly population is highly vulnerable to diseases such as heart attacks, arthritis, osteoporosis stroke, obesity, and diabetes. Patients suffering from these diseases might necessitate an emergency and a non-emergency ambulance service model. Therefore, the rising geriatric population is expected to contribute to market growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the market for air ambulance services in Europe. The increasing patient population suffering from COVID-19 provides an opportunity for market players to launch air ambulance services for patients in order to transfer them from remote villages to urban sprawls in a quick time. For instance,

  • In May 2021, Swedish Air Ambulance (SLA) obtained the AUK Protection. As per the contract, a complete apparel system will be supplied for their helicopter staff members. SLA staff will be fortified with apparel from the new EMS Collection by AUK Protection, which is designed to meet the demands of crews on flights as well as at accident sites.

  • In November 2020, Belgium launched COVID patient air-lifts to Germany, owing to Belgium’s surging second wave of COVID-19 cases.

  • In April 2020, REVA Inc. initiated to offer its life-saving emergency service to COVID-19 patients. The firm constructed a new isolation unit, the ‘ISOVAC CAPSULS patient’s isolation unit’ in the air ambulance.

Thus, rising investments by key players to adapt and develop innovative technologies are likely to spur market growth during the forecast period.

Type Insights

In 2020, the rotary-wing segment led the market with a revenue share of more than 75.5%. Hospitals use rotary-wing air ambulance services owing to several advantages offered by these air ambulances. The key benefits offered include mainly cost-effectiveness and rapid response time. They serve patients in emergency circumstances particularly when a speedy response time is estimated. Helicopters are a better alternative to ground-based ambulances, as they can land almost anywhere, comprising roads, fields, parks, paved areas, and cramped urban areas. The helicopter-based air ambulance can be used in an extensive range of emergency situations. Thereby owing to the aforementioned advantages, rotary-wing air ambulance services are in high demand as compared to fixed-wing. This leads to segment growth.

Moreover, commonly used helicopters for air ambulance services in Europe are two MD902 Explorer helicopters, G-EHMS and G-LNDN, by London Air Ambulance Charity in London, the H135 and H145 helicopters in the United Kingdom, Rescue helicopters serving Germany and Luxembourg. In addition, the rising development of helicopters by key players focused on offering healthcare services is expected to further augment segment growth. For instance, in January 2019, Airbus added 250 helicopters to HCare Smart, making the total aircraft count to 2250. The company now has 19% of its global fleet dedicated to healthcare.

The fixed-wing segment is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The segment growth is owing to a broad range of services offered by fixed-wing air ambulances including medical escort service, aero-medical transportation, repatriation, and critical care patient transportation. Moreover, these air ambulances can travel extended distances as they have superior fuel capacity as compared to rotary-wing aircraft. Furthermore, fixed-wing aircraft can also function effectively in adverse weather conditions without risking patient’s ease and quality of care. In addition, the capability to function in adverse weather conditions and surge in medical tourism are two key factors that might be attributed to an upsurge in demand for fixed-wing air ambulance services.

Model Insights

In 2020, the hospital-based segment led the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of over 79.0%. The segmental growth is attributed to several types of services provided by hospitals. In this type of model, a hospital usually delivers a medical team and associates with an aviation service provider for aircraft, pilots, and mechanics. The aviation service provider is obligated to have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate and is compensated by the hospital for the service model provided by them. Shortage of specialty care in some regions has led to an upsurge in the use of air ambulance services to swiftly transfer patients to specialty hospitals.

Europe air ambulance services market share, by model, 2020 (%)

The community-based segment is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The fastest growth of this segment is owing to an upsurge in collaborations amongst community health organizations and private players. For instance, In August 2020, the government of Jersey, in cooperation with the States of Guernsey, handed the Channel Islands Air Ambulance contract to Gama Aviation. The intention of the agreement was to secure the long-term sustainability and resilience of service. Moreover, the increasing need for access to healthcare in rural areas has led to the growth of these services.

Country Insights

Germany dominated the Europe air ambulance services market with a share of 19.2% in 2020 and is expected to witness considerable growth over the forecast period. The presence of a well-established healthcare system in the country including trained staff and medical facilities, and high adoption of air ambulance services are major among factors fueling the growth of the market in Germany. The country also has an advanced air ambulance network, comprising primary EMS helicopters, inter-hospital transport, and dual-use helicopters.

Moreover, Germany has the fourth-highest share of the population over 65 in the OECD, with a growing number of people affected by chronic conditions. Heart disease is among the major causes of death in Germany. For instance, as per data published on Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne, in Germany, around 1.5 million people are affected by coronary heart disease. Besides, as per the WHO data published in 2018, in Germany coronary heart disease deaths reached 191,913 or 24.95% of total deaths.  Thus, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases upsurges the demand for air medical services.

Furthermore, rising healthcare expenditure is another key factor fueling market growth in Germany. For instance, according to the Federal Statistical Office, in 2019, Germany's healthcare spending was 410.8 billion euros per inhabitant. According to the OECD, Germany is among the top 5 spenders on health care. Health expenditure is expected to further surge to reach 12.3% of GDP by 2030. Thus, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, rising elderly population, and growing healthcare expenditure are among factors expected to drive the market growth in Germany.

In the U.K., the market is anticipated to exhibit lucrative growth during the forecast period. Substantial investments from the public sector fuel market growth in the U.K. For instance,

  • In February 2019, air ambulances through the U.K. were invited to bid for a share of up to pound 2 million from a pound 10 million funding grant provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Of the 14 applicants, 9 were chosen and announced in July 2019. The funds will be allocated to procure new equipment and upgrade facilities in air ambulances.

Furthermore, the large presence of key players, organizations, and independent charities such as Yorkshire Air Ambulance, AIR AMBULANCE, IAS Medical, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, The Air Ambulance Service, Air Ambulances UK, and Airbus S.A.S. in the U.K., further contributes to market growth in the U.K.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Key players are involved in adopting strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and launching new products to strengthen their foothold in the market for air ambulance services in Europe. In April 2021, Babcock Norway has been granted a novel contract with European Union (EU). This contract intends to provide round-the-clock and speedy jet air ambulance service to the rescEU scheme. The contract also includes aircraft maintenance, facility of workforces along training. The contract intends to use a new Cessna C680A Latitude aircraft, which is currently used in the company’s present fixed-wing air ambulance contract in Norway. In February 2021, REVA, Inc. partnered with Gainjet Ireland, a privately held aircraft charter operator and management firm. The aim of the partnership is to establish a European center at Shannon Airport. It also aims at providing employment for aircrew and medical personnel staff. The service employs a twin-jet Hawker 800XP. It is a fixed-wing aircraft that allows it to fly additional distances as compared to their present air ambulance services in Ireland that use helicopters. Some prominent players in the Europe air ambulance services market include:

  • Aero Medical Ambulance Service

  • Aero-Dienst GmbH

  • Airlec Air Espace

  • European Air Ambulance

  • REVA, Inc.

  • IAS Medical

  • Medical Air Service

  • Quick Air Jet Charter GmbH

  • Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance

  • Centreline AV Limited

  • Airbus S.A.S.

Europe Air Ambulance Services Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 5.6 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 9.8 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 8.2% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Type, model,  country

Country scope

U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain

Key companies profiled

Aero Medical Ambulance Service; Aero-Dienst GmbH; Airlec Air Espace; European Air Ambulance; REVA, Inc.; IAS Medical Medical Air Service; Quick Air Jet Charter GmbH; Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance; Centreline AV Limited; Airbus S.A.S.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analyst’s working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional, and segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Segments Covered in the Report 

This report forecasts revenue growth at regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the Europe air ambulance services market report on the basis of type, model, and country:

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Rotary Wing

    • Fixed Wing

  • Model Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Hospital-based

    • Community-based

  • Country Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Germany

    • U.K.

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

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