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(Aberdeen, UK) – Wednesday, 30th January 2019 – Despite the oil industry downturn, recent utilisation figures for the S-92 offshore fleet are currently at 77%, according to a fleet survey released today by Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood).1   This is in contrast to the Large Helicopter segment which has an overall utilisation rate of just 59%.

Presenting at Helicopter Investor London 2019, Westwood’s Steve Robertson, Director, highlighted the key drivers behind supply and demand over the next five years with a focus on S-92s.  He said;

“It’s no surprise that the S-92 remains a favoured helicopter in the market, with operators stressing ‘versatility’ and ‘reliability’ of the unit as key strengths. That said, our findings also show that 25 of the S-92s owned by the top three operators appear not to have flown in the time period we analysed.  Whilst some may be offline for maintenance or in place for backup purposes, assertions by firms such as Bristow suggest that there are further units to be passed back to lessors and this appears to be supported by the data for all three of the leading helicopter operators.”

Sikorsky data, for example, showed increased total flying hours for the S-92 in 2018 – up 7.5% on 2017.  This, combined with the data from the Westwood analysis, is consistent with industry speculation that the operational fleet is being flown harder, rather than re-activating out-of-service units.

Westwood’s analysis also showed that overall utilisation in the Large Helicopter segment is seemingly low at 59%.  However, it is unlikely that the out-of-service Super Puma units will return to service plus the Mi8 units and S-61 are not considered to be competitive with the S-92 or super-medium units.2   Therefore, if none of the out-of-service Super Puma units return, and only units under 15 years old are used, then the market is predicted to return to equilibrium.

“But”, added Steve Robertson, “some of the newer ‘Super-Medium’ units coming into the market are likely to secure work that was previously being performed by S-92 and H225 units.  Clearly, this presents a risk to utilisation with a growth in supply.  Given that these units are very new into the market, it is not yet clear the impact they will have on the demand for S-92s.”

Detailed analysis and further information can be found in the fifth annual Westwood World Offshore Helicopter Market Forecast 2019 – 2023.  The Market Forecast contains an asset-by-asset analysis of the sector with extensive industry interviews with helicopter manufacturers, owners, managers, operators and leasing contractors to give a complete evaluation of current sector activity and expected development of the market.  It is aimed at private equity firms, operators, manufacturers and anyone looking to invest or divest in this market.

To purchase a copy of Westwood’s World Offshore Helicopter Market Forecast 2019-2023 please visit:

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Issued on behalf of Westwood Global Energy Group by Flourish PR Ltd

For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact: –

Flourish PR Press Office

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Notes to Editors

1 The survey of the fleet was completed during 1st December – 18th December 2018.  A total of 47 units in the ‘active fleet’ had not flown over this period.

2 Westwood Global Energy notes that some Super Puma units are in-service and currently working in Brazil and Asia.

Steve Robertson will be presenting at 2.40pm on Thursday 31st January 2019.  To arrange an interview please contact Flourish PR Press Office.


About Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood)

Westwood Global Energy Group is a leading provider of research, data analytics and consulting services to the global energy industry. Whilst we focus primarily on intelligence and insight for the worldwide exploration and oilfield services markets, our coverage also extends to the offshore renewables and power generation markets. Our analysis is independent, comprehensive and based on deep sector knowledge.

Westwood Global Energy was formed in January 2015 by Energy Ventures, an energy specialist private equity firm with a vision to build a leading player in the business intelligence and data analytics space.  Following an active period of acquisitions, the group has combined the operations of Hannon Westwood, Richmond Energy Partners, Novas Consulting, Douglas-Westwood, Energent Group Software LLC, RigLogix, and JSI Services. Westwood Global Energy Group is headquartered in Aberdeen and has offices in London, Houston and Singapore.

To learn more, please visit