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Helicopter Demand Up Worldwide For Next Five Years

Results Of Survey Reported At Heli-Expo In Las Vegas

In its 15th Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook report, Honeywell expects that global deliveries of new civilian-use helicopters will increase to between 4,900 to 5,600 over the five-year period 2013–2017. The forecast shows improved purchase plans for new helicopters in every region of the world. North American buying plans increased for the first time in half a decade, and Latin America posted the highest regional level of five-year fleet replacement and expansion at 34 percent.

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 percent 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.

"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 percent, and combined the Western Hemisphere represents 47 percent of total global demand. Europe's share of five-year demand closely matches that of North America with 28 percent. Demand in Asia/Oceania accounts for 19 percent over the next five years, and the Africa/Middle East share should tally a little over 6 percent.

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 were concentrated in 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 centers 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 percent compared with 2012 levels, suggesting the recovery will maintain momentum this year.

Global five-year demand for new turbine-powered helicopters is split almost 50-50 between the Americas and the rest of the world. Latin America and Asia continue to have the highest fleet replacement and expansion expectations among the regions. In terms of projected regional demand for new helicopters, Latin America and Asia remain in close competition to claim the world's third largest regional market, following North America and Europe.

(Images from file)

FMI: www.honeywell.com

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