Used helicopter inventory is rapidly shrinking, but valuations and deals in the pipeline are also continuing to drop. That’s the latest analysis from consultancy Aero Asset in its third-quarter 2021 Heli Market Trends report.
To date, 98 preowned twin-engine helicopters have been sold to retail buyers for $263 million, on and off-market. This dollar sales volume represents a decline of 26 percent year-over-year that mainly resulted from a significant decrease in heavy helicopter retail sales. However, VIP configured twin-engine rotorcraft saw a nice bounce, with sales volume rising 8 percent, making them the best-performing market segment. North America accounted for one-third of all retail sales during the period.
Medium twins are once again leading the way, with retail sales up 43 percent. Light twins sales are edging higher, with the Airbus EC/H145, Leonardo AW109S/SP, and Sikorsky S76C+/C++ the most popular in class. Sales activity of light twins was up 5 percent for the period compared with the third quarter of 2020. However, sales of heavy helicopters declined “substantially” over the period, according to the report.
Meanwhile, helicopter flight hours have increased significantly year-to-date compared with 2020—up 36 percent in North America, 23 percent in Europe, and 155 percent in South America.