Light-Single Turbine Market
The light single turbine market has been very active across the globe in the first quarter. The Corporate / VIP markets are going strong. Nice low time machines are not lasting long on the market before they are grabbed up. Well-equipped utility machines have been moving quickly and the requests keep funneling in from potential buyers. EMS Operators continue to take new deliveries as they phase out older machines. Some models have seen an increase in value as the quantity of well maintained, lower time aircraft continues to shrink. Newer and more popular models such as the Airbus AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350B3e, and Bell 407, 407GX, 407GXP are models doing particularly well on the resale market.
Light-Twin Turbine Market
Values can only drop so far, one might say. Since 2008 the Airbus AS355 series has seen a long run of falling values. For the first time since then, we are seeing activity picking up and transactions starting to take place on some of the older AS355F1, AS355F2, and AS355N models. Machines with good remaining times on the engines are selling first. Airbus EC145T1 helicopters are still sought after in the U.S. EMS markets. There were also a few trades of the Bell 427 and MD 902 models in the first quarter.
Medium-Twin Turbine Market
There’s not much to note in the medium market. VIP aircraft seem to be the number one seller this past quarter. Resale activity is low on the offshore side but leasing activity has been increasing. With a shortage of available newer Leonardo AW139’s, there has been a shift into some of the older Sikorsky S76C++, and Airbus EC155B1 models that have been sitting idle with the lessors and operators.
Heavy-Twin Turbine Market
Contracts, contracts, contracts; we need more contracts. The dark gloomy clouds that have been hovering over the heavy offshore market are beginning to break up. We continue to see the supply of Sikorsky S92A’s dwindle down with the lessors. S-92As currently advertised for sale are gaining interest from operators.
It is no secret that the current financial situation with some of the large operators could possibly reshape the helicopter industry by year-end. As bad as things may seem right now the future still looks promising for the offshore sector. New contracts are being added, additional aircraft are being required. Aircraft are being pulled out of storage to be put back to work, and Rig Counts are up from last year. The slowing of manufacturer deliveries has greatly improved the used markets. We are finally seeing stabilization with some of the platforms. We will continue to see middle-aged aircraft being retiring early as the demand for helicopters has shifted to the more technologically advanced, efficient and cheaper to operate helicopters. Profitability is everything today.
We hope to see the same trends going into the next quarter and even further. We are all ready for the weather to clear.
By: Jason Kmiecik, President