Saturday, July 21, 2018
Subscription Centre
Receive our free e-newsletter.
Click here for more information

Civil helicopter deliveries to drop over next five years

An AW139 helicopter. AW photo.The number of turbine powered civil helicopters delivered over the next five years will drop by nearly ten percent over previous forecasts, according to a new study which says around 4 000 will be delivered from 2017 to 2021.

In a new forecast, Honeywall said that the helicopter industry is reacting with a cautious outlook for near-term new purchases due to impact from slow global economic growth and volatility in oil and gas-related markets. In its annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, Honeywell forecasts 3,900 to 4,400 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered from 2017 to 2021, roughly 400 helicopters lower than the 2016 five-year forecast.

"The current global economic situation is causing fleet managers to evaluate new helicopter purchases closely, and that's why we're seeing a more cautious five-year demand projection compared with previous years," said Ben Driggs, president, Americas, Honeywell Aerospace. "Even in a slow growth environment, Honeywell is well-positioned to help operators keep current fleets lasting longer with aftermarket upgrades and repairs."

Honeywell found that new purchase-plan rates were lower for the next five years, for all regions, leading to a more cautious near-term outlook; and helicopter fleet utilization in the past 12 months generally increased compared with last year. “Over the next 12 months, usage rates are expected to improve significantly in North America and Latin America, but at a reduced rate in Europe.”

For Latin America, the 2017 results show lower fleet replacement and growth expectations compared with 2016 results. Still above the world average, the purchase plans have declined more than 13 percent compared with the prior year. Latin America led all global regions in the rate of new aircraft purchase plans, but is down year over year and impacted by weak economic performance in Brazil and Venezuela. Latin American respondents currently favour light single-engine models, representing almost 60 percent of their planned acquisitions, followed by intermediate and medium twin-engine platforms.

In the Middle East and Africa, the region has the second-highest new purchase rate among the regions, with up to 22 percent of respondent fleets slated for turnover with a new helicopter replacement or addition. However, purchase plans are 8 percent lower compared with 2016 survey results. Close to 80 percent of planned new helicopter purchases are intermediate and medium twin- engine models.-Light single-engine models are the second-highest-mentioned platform in the survey by operators.

North American purchase expectations fell by more than 2 percent in this year's survey, Honeywell said. The purchase plans are down for a second year since 2015. More than 75 percent of planned North American purchases were identified as light single-engine models, while just under 13 percent of new purchases were slated as intermediate or medium twin-engine models.-North American purchase plans are a significant component of the overall 2017 survey demand, as the region represents more than 40 percent of the current world fleet.

In Europe, purchase plans decreased by more than 3 percent in this year's survey, down for a second year in a row.

For the Asia Pacific, despite solid results from these nations, overall buying plans slipped about 1 percent. Operator purchase plans continued to drift slightly lower compared with the past few years in the 2017 results. Regional operators tended to focus more on corporate and oil and gas end uses for their new purchase plans, and consequently, intermediate and medium twin-engine helicopters were the most popular models in their new aircraft plans.

Company News