Light, single-engine turbine helicopters will be in the greatest demand over the next five years, according to Honeywell Aerospace’s 20th Annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook.
Civil helicopter customers have a better long-term global economic outlook this year and are holding firm in their intentions to purchase new helicopters over the next five years, Honeywell Aerospace said Feb. 26 in its 20th Annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook at HAI Heli-Expo 2018 in Las Vegas. The company forecasts the delivery of 4,000 to 4,200 new civilian-use helicopters from 2018 to 2022, aligning with its five-year forecast from 2017. Operators are most interested in light single-engine models, the survey found.
“With the expectation of stable purchase plans for new helicopters over the next five years, Honeywell is focused on bringing increased value to operators’ current and new fleets by offering Connected Helicopter engine, Health and Usage Monitoring Systems, and avionics solutions that help boost a platform’s efficiency and availability,” Driggs said.
The survey found that over the next 12 months, helicopter fleet utilization is expected to increase significantly in North America and modestly in Europe and Latin America. The outlook showed stable new purchase rates for the next five years for North America, Europe, and Asia; Latin America showed higher growth rates for the next five years with lower rates in the Middle East and Africa.
When choosing helicopter make and model, Honeywell found, operators purchasing new aircraft are largely considering factors such as brand experience and performance, with cabin size and range factors declining from last year’s survey.
In North America, Honeywell found that purchase plans were stable in this year’s survey, with 13 percent of respondents saying they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. More than 40 percent of the world helicopter fleet is based in North America. More than half of planned North American purchases were identified as light single-engine models, while roughly 20 percent of new planned purchases were for both light and medium-twin product classes.
Compared to 2017 results, purchase plans in Europe were stable in this year’s survey. Nearly 22 percent of respondents said they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. Honeywell noted that the sample of Russian operators responding in the 2018 survey remains small, which continues to add some uncertainty to the overall European results.
Results for 2018 show higher fleet replacement and growth expectations in Latin America than 2017. Above the world average, the region’s purchase plans increased by more than 12 percentage points from last year. Latin America had the leading rate of new aircraft purchase plans globally, with 35 percent of respondents saying they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years.
Overall buying plans in the Asia Pacific region were up 1 percentage point when compared with 2017. More than 18 percent of respondents said they would either replace or expand their fleet with a new helicopter over the next five years. Despite limited inputs, new helicopter purchase plans were up by 9 percentage points in China, increasing to more than 21 percent compared with last year’s results. Purchase plans were down by more than 40 percentage points in India.
The Middle East and Africa had the lowest new purchase rate globally; only 10 percent of respondents’ fleets expected to get a new helicopter replacement or addition. Purchase plans were 12 percentage points lower compared with 2017 survey results.
Honeywell said its 2018 outlook presents a snapshot of the helicopter business at a given point in time and reflects the current business and political environment. This year’s data comes from a survey of more than 1,000 chief pilots and flight department managers of companies operating 3,489 turbine and 334 piston helicopters worldwide. The survey excluded large fleet operators, which were addressed separately. Input received from large oil and gas support and emergency medical service fleet operators is factored into the overall outlook, in addition to the individual flight department responses.
More helicopter market information is available from Honeywell Aerospace.