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Honeywell five-year civil helicopter forecast

Honeywell's 21st annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, released on March 4, projects 4,000 new civilian-use helicopters will be delivered from 2019 to 2023, a dip from the 4,200 helicopters cited last year in its five-year projection.


March 6, 2019
By Helicopters Staff

Despite a slightly lower outlook compared to the 4,200 deliveries cited in last year’s forecast, Honeywell explains new helicopter platforms will support an expected three to four per cent annual growth rate in overall deliveries – describing this environment as a largely healthy helicopter market poised for moderate growth. 


This year’s data comes from a survey of more than 1,000 chief pilots and flight department managers of companies operating 3,334 turbine and 321 piston helicopters worldwide. Respondents had a slightly less positive view of the global economic outlook in this year’s survey compared with 2018.

North America is expected to lead much of the growth globally, with light single-engine models as the most-desired product class, according to Honeywell, driven by demand in law enforcement. Purchase plans are stronger from law enforcement and oil-and-gas operators in this year’s Honeywell survey, but significantly lower from corporate operators.

“Despite positive impacts of U.S. tax reform on new helicopter purchase plans in North America, an inconsistent economic outlook for international markets has resulted in lower purchase plans worldwide from fleet managers when compared with a year ago,” said Heath Patrick, president, Americas Aftermarket, Honeywell Aerospace.
 
About 20 per cent of survey respondents in North America said their helicopter fleet utilization is expected to increase over the next 12 months, which is higher than the global rate of 14 per cent.

Honeywell explains a greater proportion of planned new helicopter purchases are for intermediate/medium twin-engine models in this year’s survey compared with 2018. The proportion is lower for light twin-engine. The proportion of light single-engine and heavy twin-engine planned purchases are about the same as last year.

In North America, Honeywell’s report found purchase plans have risen by five percentage points over a year ago, with 18 per cent of respondents saying they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. North America is home to more than 40 per cent of the world’s helicopter fleet.

Close to 65 per cent of planned North American purchases were identified as light single-engine models, while roughly 22 per cent of new planned purchases were for intermediate and medium-twin product classes.
 
Compared with 2018 results, purchase plans in Europe were lower in this year’s survey. Honeywell explains nearly 15 per cent of respondents said they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. The figure was 22 per cent a year ago.

Intermediate and medium twin-engine classes captured roughly 30 per cent of total mentions for new helicopters. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of respondents indicated plans to purchase light single-engine helicopters, down 12 percentage points from last year. The sample of Russian operators responding in the 2019 survey remains small, explains Honeywell, which continues to add some uncertainty to the overall European results.
 
In Latin America, results for 2019 show significantly lower fleet replacement and growth expectations compared with 2018. Purchase plans are well below the global average of 15 per cent, and the region’s purchase plans decreased by 26 percentage points from last year.

Latin America had the lowest rate of new aircraft purchase plans globally, with only nine per cent of respondents saying they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years.

Purchase plans in Brazil decreased to only 5 per cent, according to Honeywell, reflecting higher political tensions and lower expectations for long-term economic growth. Latin American respondents favoured light single-engine models, which represent about 70 per cent of their planned purchases, an increase of 20 percentage points when compared with 2018 survey results.
 
Middle East and Africa had the second highest new purchase rate globally, with 15 per cent of respondents’ fleets expected to get a new helicopter replacement or addition. Purchase plans were five percentage points higher compared with 2018 survey results.

Close to 70 per cent of planned new helicopter purchases were medium twin-engine models. Light single-engine models were the second-highest mentioned product class in the survey by operators.
 
In Asia Pacific, overall buying plans were down 5 percentage points when compared with 2018, according to the Honeywell report. Close to 13 per cent of respondents said they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. Light single-engine and medium twin-engine helicopters were the most popular classes, both capturing near 30 per cent of mentions for new helicopters.

Despite limited inputs, new helicopter purchase plans were stable in China, showing that about 21 per cent of the fleet would be replaced or expanded by a new helicopter over the next five years. Plans were up by about 10 percentage points in India.


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