Helicopter demand up over next five years – report

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Honeywell experts say that the global deliveries of new civilian helicopters will increase to 4 900-5 600 over the next five years in a forecast that predicts improved purchase plans for new helicopters in every region of the world.

In its 15th Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook report, Honeywell shows that North American buying plans increased for the first time in half a decade, and that Latin America posted the highest regional level of five-year fleet replacement and expansion (34%).

The report is based on Honeywell’s recently conducted customer expectations survey, an assessment of consensus forecasts, a review of factory delivery rates and analysis of future new helicopter introductions.

Based on survey results, delivery rates of new helicopters over the next three years are expected to reach 1,000 new units each year. Purchase plans for new helicopters for this three-year time frame are 35% higher than last year’s survey. The latter part of the five-year outlook is also expected to fill in and achieve similar delivery rates if economic recovery trends are sustained, Honeywell said.
“The buyer confidence reflected in this year’s survey is a much needed shot in the arm for the industry,” said Brian Sill, Vice President, Honeywell Aftermarket Helicopter Sales. “Supporting the growth numbers is the fact that helicopter usage for corporate, oil and gas, utility, and training missions is improving, which shows that helicopters are value-add aircraft in today’s business environment.”

Drivers for new purchase expectations were aircraft age and condition, contractual requirements, change in operational requirements, expiring warranties, and regulations requiring twin engines.

The five-year share of demand from the United States and Canada is 27%, and combined the Western Hemisphere represents 47% of total global demand. Europe’s share of five-year demand closely matches that of North America with 28%. Demand in Asia/Oceania accounts for 19% over the next five years, and the Africa/Middle East share should tally a little over 6%.

Global five-year fleet replacement and expansion plans decreased last year with a dip of 4 points in expectations versus 2011 levels. This year’s stronger survey response indicates that the industry may be returning to a more expansionary environment. Overall five-year buying plans in the 2013 survey recovered 4 points and specific purchase plans for 2013–2015 are very strong.

Relatively lower levels of planned purchases are predicted for 2016, leading to the expectation that these plans could strengthen materially over the next few years should political and general economic conditions improve as projected.



Higher purchase plans were found across the board in all regions this year. Purchase plans in major U.S and European centres of demand rose this year by 3 and 7 points, respectively. All other regions also improved moderately compared with 2012, and their purchase plans remain above the world average rate. Specific purchase plans just for 2013 remain strong and improved over levels reported in the 2012 survey. The expectation for new aircraft orders in 2013 is up over 30% compared with 2012 levels, suggesting the recovery will maintain momentum this year.