Aero Asset Reports Positive Q1 Preowned Helicopter Market

April 13, 2020

Aero Asset's First Quarter 2020 Preowned Helicopter Market Trends report indicates the quarter's market dynamic was generally positive heading into a slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price crash.

"Preowned sales dollar volume was up 37 percent to $152 million in the first quarter on only an eight percent increase in unit transactions, compared to the 2019 quarterly average," said Sales Director Emmanuel Dupuy. "Preowned supply increased four percent to $909 million on 240 units, an increase of five percent. The industry absorption rate remained stabilized at 21 months, while deals in the pipeline fell 30 percent to 18 units," he added. 

"Aero Asset will closely monitor the 2020 second quarter and beyond for any signs of a recovery, as we are already seeing the immediate effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the double whammy of a worldwide crash in oil prices. Beyond the human scope of the pandemic, both events are wreaking havoc on economies around the world," Dupuy said.

Light Twins Down, Medium and Heavy Helicopters Up

Aero Asset's Q1 report indicates the light twin market experienced an increase in supply in Q1 with stable retail sales volume quarter over quarter (QoQ). The medium twin preowned supply remained stable and retail sales increased by a third to 15 closings QoQ. Heavy twin helicopter preowned retail sales doubled to four closings and supply declined by 30 percent QoQ.

Liquidity Data

The two most liquid preowned markets in the first quarter were the AW139 with seven retail sales and a year of supply at Q1 trade levels, and the Bell 429, which saw the biggest improvement in liquidity Q1. The two least liquid markets were the A109E Power, which saw the largest drop in absorption rate Q1, and the AW109S/SP which experienced a 50 percent decline in retail sales volume compared to its 2019 quarterly average and a 35 percent increase in supply QoQ.

Deals in the Pipeline

The number of twin engine preowned helicopter deals in the pipeline declined 40 percent compared to Q3 2019, and 20 percent compared to Q4 2019. The amount of deals pending at various stages of transactions at the end of Q1 2020 declined to 18 units, down from 22 units Q4 and 31 units Q3 2019.

"The most active market during Q1 2020 was the AW139 with seven retail sales while the least active were the EC155B1/H155 and S76D with zero transactions," Dupuy said. "The VIP market accounted for 60 percent of retail sales, while utility configurations comprised 26 percent and HEMS transactions accounted for 14 percent of the retail sales volume."

Aero Asset's complete market report ranks preowned twin engine helicopter markets from most to least active in the first quarter of 2020, based on their absorption rates, on and off market sales and active fleet size. It covers models still in production and recent variants with preowned sales activity. The report covers all weight classes and configurations, including VIP, offshore, utility, and EMS.

Go to to download the report.