AEA: Avionics Sales Soften, but Recovery Underway

 - May 11, 2021, 12:21 PM
Retrofits continue to make up the majority of avionics sales, according to first-quarter sale data from the Aircraft Electronics Association. (Photo: Duncan Aviation)

Worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales in the first quarter fell 13.9 percent year-over-year, to about $568.8 million, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s (AEA) latest avionics market report. While that was down by almost $100 million from a year ago, AEA said this represented a marginal increase from the fourth quarter and marked the third consecutive quarter of increasing sales.

Of the first-quarter sales, 53.7 percent came from the retrofit market, while forward-fit sales—avionics equipment installed by airframe manufacturers during production—accounted for the remainder. Reported business and general aviation aircraft electronic sales include all component and accessories in cockpit/cabin/software upgrades/portables/certified and noncertified aircraft electronics; tip-to-tail hardware batteries; and chargeable product upgrades. They do not include repairs and overhauls, extended warranty, or subscription services.

According to AEA, the North American market accounted for 76 percent of the first-quarter sales volume, while 24 percent took place in other international markets.

"With avionics sales trending in the right direction over the last nine months, it appears that a slow and steady industry recovery is under way," said AEA president and CEO Mike Adamson. "The last six months of 2020 saw a rebound in retrofit sales, and it's encouraging to see forward-fit sales up sharply from the previous quarter in the aircraft manufacturing sector.

“As new products are introduced at the AEA Convention in June and EAA’s AirVenture in July, I'm hopeful that avionics manufacturers will be able to clear some of the supply chain hurdles they face and continue this upward trend.”