Pre-owned helicopter sales fell in 2019


Sales in the pre-owned helicopter market fell year-on-year in 2019, according to Aero Assets’ 2019 Annual Pre-Owned Helicopter Market Trends Report.

$444m worth of civil helicopters were sold 2019, down 5% from last year’s figure – about $466.2m in 2018. Sales are still driving down the surplus helicopter supply, with the global pre-owned supply dropping 18.8% to $1.14bn this year.

Prices continued to fall for many civil helicopter models, as manufacturers try to attract  new buyers. This has proved successful , with the absorption rate (how long helicopters are on the market before they are sold) dropping by 3.5 months to 1.75 years in 2019.

The mean trading value fell for all but three of the main civil helicopter models in the pre-owned market. One of the biggest exceptions was the EC155B, the value of which climbed by $1.5m year-on-year (YoY) compared with 2018. Value also climbed for the H135 and AW109SP – two stalwart models in VIP helicopter market.

Bottoming out

Despite the lower prices, including the bottoming out of the Sikorsky S76C++, fewer aircraft sold in 2019 compared to 2018, even amongst the most popular asset classes.

The exception is the ever-popular AW139, of which 13 models were sold in the pre-owned market in 2019, six more than in 2018. With the supply of AW139s shrinking as well, the AW139 remains a fast mover.

The sharpest increase in sales YoY came from the H225. Only three were traded in 2018 and this spiked to nine in 2019. When asked why, Emmanuel Dupuy, sales director, Aero Asset, told Helicopter Investor this was due to “demand from Asia. Five of the aircraft were sent to China on utility missions and two to Korea in EMS configuration”.

The report concludes: “Overall market conditions continued to improve in 2019, amidst a slow-down in light and medium twin retail sales volume.”

So, we have the data from 2019 but what can we expect in 2020? Dupuy gave four predictions for the pre-owned market this year:

  • Supply will continue to decline across twin engine asset classes
  • Pricing will drop in VIP segment of the H145 market and stay firm in H135 market
  • The AW139 market absorption rate will continue to improve
  • Transaction volume in the H225 market will increase YoY.

Click here to download the report straight from Aero Asset’s website.

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