Last December Air Methods announced orders for 42 new Eurocopter and Bell helicopters, issued a special cash dividend and announced a three-for-one stock split. It also acquired the assets of Las Vegas air-tour operator Sundance Helicopters, including its fleet of 22 Eurocopter AS350s and EC130s.
Several helicopter EMS accidents occurred over the last couple of months in the U.S.
Air Methods, the nation’s largest air ambulance provider, ended last year by placing orders for 42 new helicopters, including 20 Bell 407GX singles and 22 Eurocopters (10 EC130T2 and six AS350B3e light singles, and six EC135P2e light twins). All of the helicopters ordered are recently upgraded and improved editions of legacy models and feature new avionics and/or enhanced performance. The Eurocopter order is valued at more than $80 million. Deliveries are scheduled for 2014 and 2015.
A Eurocopter BK117 operated as an emergency medical service (EMS) flight by Air Methods crashed into a farmer’s field near Compton, Ill., at about 8 p.m. on December 11. The three people on board–the pilot and two flight nurses–were killed. There were no patients on board at the time of the accident. The crash occurred shortly after the pilot radioed he was returning to base due to poor weather where light snow had been reported. The helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital, located 90 miles northwest of Chicago.
Air Methods, the largest helicopter EMS provider in the U.S., posted an exceptionally strong second quarter. Revenue at the company increased to $222.5 million, a 48-percent jump from the same quarter last year.
In the first six months, Air Methods reported revenue of $413.3 million, up 47 percent versus the same period last year. Net income for the quarter increased 217 percent to $31.4 million, compared with the prior-year second-quarter net income of $9.9 million. For the first six months, net income increased by 181 percent to $43.9 million.
For the first six months of the year, the nation’s largest helicopter EMS provider reported revenues of $282.1 million, up 9 percent from the same period a year ago. Net income for the period increased by 25 percent, to $16.1 million. Net revenue per community-based transport increased to $9,008, a 10-percent increase from the prior year quarter. However, hospital-based revenue dipped by 1 percent.
Air Methods is continuing to expand through aggressive acquisitions. Last month the largest helicopter EMS company in the U.S. announced it is acquiring the parent of competitor Omniflight for $200 million. Omniflight operates 100 aircraft from 75 bases in 18 states and is headquartered in Addison, Texas. Last year it posted revenues of $172 million. Air Methods operates a fleet of 300 aircraft nationwide.
Denver-based Air Methods Corp. (Booth No. 856), which claims the title of “largest air medical transportation company in the world,” announced yesterday the acquisition by its Products Division of United Rotorcraft Solutions.
Helicopter EMS operators and OEMs announced several large orders for new aircraft at the opening of the Air Medical Transport Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., yesterday. Air Methods, the largest U.S. helicopter EMS company with a fleet of 320 rotorcraft, announced it is buying 15 new Bell 407 singles for delivery next year.
Cobham’s digital audio control system (DACS) has been installed in and FAA approved on the first commercial delivery of an air medical Bell 429.
Air Methods installed the system at its Colorado headquarters. The light twin helicopter was scheduled for delivery last month and will operate from the company’s Mercy One hospital-based program in Des Moines.