The latest edition of the Honeywell “Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook” shows operators becoming more cautious about new purchases over the next few years. The forecast predicts that 3,900 to 4,400 civil helicopters will be delivered from 2017 to 2021, roughly 400 helicopters fewer than in the 2016 five-year forecast
Slow global economic growth and volatility in oil and gas-related markets are seen as the prime factors impacting revised purchase plans.
“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.
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% 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.
Middle East and Africa: The region has the second-highest new purchase rate among the regions, with up to 22% of respondent fleets slated for turnover with a new helicopter replacement or addition. However, purchase plans are 8% lower compared with 2016 survey results.
North America: Purchase expectations fell by more than 2% in this year’s survey. The purchase plans are down for a second year since 2015. North American purchase plans are a significant component of the overall 2017 survey demand, as the region represents more than 40% of the current world fleet.
Europe: Purchase plans decreased by more than 3% in this year’s survey, down for a second year in a row. The sample of Russian operators responding in the 2017 survey remains small, which continues to add some uncertainty to the overall European results.
Asia Pacific: Despite solid results from these nations, overall buying plans slipped about 1%. Operator purchase plans continued to drift slightly lower compared with the past few years in the 2017 results. India held fairly steady year over year based on very small sample input.
BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China): Purchase plans are lower for all countries except Russia in this year’s survey. Overall, BRIC plans are down more than 11% compared with 2016 results. Brazilian purchase plans are down significantly, by almost 20% in 2017, reflecting the impact of the economic recession in the country.