Aero Asset predicts ‘resilient’ Q1 pre-owned twin sales


Sales of twin engine pre-owned helicopters will remain “resilient” in the first quarter of 2021, matching the trend witnessed in the second half of last year, according to Aero Asset’s 2020 Heli Market Trends report.

Retail sales of pre-owned twin engine helicopters recovered strongly in the third and fourth quarters of last year, after dropping by half, due to Covid-19, in the second quarter.

“After four consecutive quarters of decline, the deal pipeline which tracks the number of pre-owned twin engine helicopter deals pending at various stages of transaction, saw a rise in the amount of deals pending Q4 [fourth quarter] 2020,” according to the Toronto-based consultancy’s latest report. “It is the writer’s opinion that the resilience noted in Q3 and Q4 will continue in Q1 2021.”

‘Roller coaster ride’

Despite the category enduring “a roller coaster ride” in past year, overall sales rose by 10% year-on-year, with 2020 recording the most retail transactions in the past four years. Supply for sale climbed 8%, following a sharp rise in the number of units offered for sale in the second half of 2020.

The overall adsorption rate remained constant across all models and asset classes. The rate was 20.5 months of supply at 2020 trading levels compared to 21 months in 2019. Leading the trend was the EC145/H145 with a 2020 absorption rate of nine months. That compared with a S-76C+/C++, which had a 2020 absorption rate of 4.2 years.

The heavy weight class market recorded the biggest rise in transaction volume of all weight classes in 2020 reaching nearly twice as many retail transactions as the previous year. The Sikorsky S-92 and Airbus H225 markets were both said to perform strongly. “Heavys represented 12% of all units sold in 2020 and 20% of the aggregate transacted value,” according to the report.

The best performing model in the medium twin market – representing 40% of all transactions in the category – was the Leonardo AW139. Overall, medium twins represented 30% of all sales and nearly 40% of the total transactional value.

The light twin market

In the light twin market, the Bell 429 saw the biggest increase in sales year-on-year, accounting for 15% of all light twin sales last year. The light twin market was said to be stable over the past year, representing 58% of all units sold in 2020.

Total sales reached 143 units last year, up 10% compared with 2019. Retail sales totalled $516m up by 16% compared with the previous year.

Aero Assets’ annual Heli Market Trends report assesses the yearly performance of 13 twin engine models in the light, medium and heavy weight categories, from Airbus Helicopters H135 to Sikorsky S92. Market performance is ranked from most to least active.


Pre-owned twin helicopter market – at a glance

Retail sales (on and off market)

2020                       143 units       $516m

Trend v 2019         +10%              +16%

Supply for sale on market

2020                       245 units      $941m

Trend v 2010          +8%              +8%

Adsorption rate     1.7 year (-2% v 2019)

Deal pipeline           29 units (+11% v 2019)

Source: Aero Asset.



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