HI Uplift: Pre-owned twin heli market ‘starting to level out’
The pre-owned twin engine helicopter market is coming more into balance, Valerie Pereira, vice president Market Research, Aero Asset tells Helicopter Investor. Commenting on the firm’s 2023 Half Year Heli Market Trends Twin Engine Edition, Pereira tells us: “I believe the market is trying to find its place and slowly in the leveling out phase. But it is also lacking the newer, low-time machines – of one-to-nine years of age – that buyers are looking for.”
The report identifies 76 retail transactions of pre-owned helicopters, down 15% compared with the same period of last year. Dollar volume for both on and off market retail sales fell 11% to $288m.
Despite the relative shortage of newer aircraft, supply in the first half of the year climbed. “Supply for sale grew 18% year-over-year [YOY] to 177 units, and the absorption rate increased to 14 months of supply at current trade levels at the end of June,” said Pereira.
Light and medium twin-engine supply climbed 20% YoY while medium twin engine retail sales volume fell nearly 45%. Light and heavy retail sales remained stable over same period.
Turning to prices, average pre-owned transaction prices remained resilient. Light twin average transaction prices were strong in the first half, except in the markets for Bell 429 and EC/H145 helicopters.
In the medium category, Sikorsky S76C+/C++ average transaction prices were up $175,000 and $1.3m respectively compared with last year.
In the heavy category, Sikorsky S92A pricing was stable compared with last year. But the Airbus EC/H225 average transaction price rose “just north of $1 million YOY”.
Analysing the pre-owned twin-engine helicopter market by region revealed overall retail sales volume fell in North America and Europe in the first half of the year compared with 2022 but climbed in other regions. Nevertheless, North America and Europe accounted for 75% of total transactions in the first half of 2023. Over the same period, supply for sale increased twice as much in North America as in Europe.
Pereira told Helicopter Investor the reason for the sales shortfall in North America was: “Less quality supply was available, with the majority of the supply available was for helicopters in the 10 to 25 years of age with higher times.” In addition, the economic uncertainty and higher interest rates have also played part in the decline, she added.
Judged by liquidity, the best performing pre-owned twin engine market in the first half of 2023 was the Leonardo A109E Power, followed by the Bell 429 and the Sikorsky S92A markets.
The AW169 was the only twin engine helicopter tracked by the report that saw no retail sales over the first half of 2023.
Meanwhile, Pereira reported no discernible improvement in the supply chain challenges afflicting the helicopter market. “We are not seeing that [easing of supply chain problems] at the moment. OEMs are still seemingly struggling and lead times remain firm,” Pereira told us.
Read the Aero Asset Heli Market Trends Half Year 2023 Report here. And if you enjoyed reading this free newsletter, please register for your copy and send the link to colleagues, so they can enjoy further editions too.