Honeywell cautions on helicopter sales outlook

Vorsichtige Hubschrauber-Verkaufsprognose von Honeywell<br /> Honeywell announced that its eleventh Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook projects flat to slightly higher deliveries of new civil use helicopters during the five-year period 2009 – 2013 compared to the 2004 - 2008 period. A lack of financing availability (where 30% of sales are financed), a sharp rise in inventories of used current production models for sale, weak new order intake and an uncertain and unpredictable global economic environment are constraining growth.

Both OEM new order intake and utilization of turbine-powered helicopters has dropped significantly in the past few months and the inventory of current production helicopters for sale has doubled since September, 2008.  Deliveries are expected to match 2008 levels in 2009 then decline somewhat in 2010 and 2011.  Due to the uncertainty of the global economy, the timing of a recovery is undefined and the current cycle may take several years to fully resolve.

Survey purchase plans fell 12% in 2010, 7% in 2011 and exhibited additional, but less well defined erosion in 2012.  Industry backlog is expected to be under pressure over this period absent a quick rebound in order rates.  Current OEM production schedules for civil turbine-powered helicopters do not suggest a downturn in deliveries will occur during the next several years. However, survey data indicate a reduction in demand for new helicopters is likely during the coming years and we do not believe the backlog will be able to prevent a decline in production during the recessionary period.  Five year new helicopter purchase expectations fell 21% in North America, 45% in Latin America, 25% in Asia, 20.5% in Africa/Middle East but were flat in Europe.  European respondents were somewhat more optimistic about near term purchases.  Some respondents mentioned that new aircraft financing was being promoted by several European governments while others talked of plans to expand their operations into Africa, Middle East and Asia.

Expectations fell sharply in several product segments which contain larger, more expensive helicopters and rose in segments featuring smaller, less expensive machines.  Five year expectations for medium twins fell 43%, intermediate twins fell 49% and long cabin light singles fell 28%.  Short cabin single engine mentions rose 29% while light twins were up 23%.  An unexpectedly large number of operators expect to replace larger more expensive helicopters with smaller less expensive ones.  For example, for current owners of intermediate and medium twins who plan to sell and replace their helicopters during the next five years, 22% of replacement aircraft will be downsized light multi engine and single engine aircraft.  In the 2008 survey only 4.6% of all expected purchases were trade-downs versus 9% in the 2009 survey.  Trade-ups fell from 16% of all expected five year purchases in 2008 to under 11% in 2009.

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