The most liquid used twin-engined helicopter asset on the market in 2018 were Airbus H135 helicopters, followed by the AgustaWestland A109E Power helicopters.
Some 33 examples of the Airbus H135 were sold last year worldwide, while the AgustaWestland A109E Power sold 24 units, according to a report compiled by pre-owned helicopter brokerage Aero Asset.
The Airbus H135 had an absorption rate of one year, while the A109E had a rate of 2 years. The absorption rate was defined as the amount of time it would take to sell all of the aircraft in the market if no new supply is added.
Demand for the Airbus H135 was largely driven by purchases by the emergency medical services market. However, demand for the AgustaWestland A109E Power was much more diverse with customers intending to use the pre-owned helicopters for a variety of purposes including utility, VIP, emergency medical services, among other applications.
Used Airbus H135s sold for between $900,000 and the high end of $3 million, according to the report. Used AugustaWestland A109E Powers sold for between $700,000 and the low end of $2 million.
Overall, sales of pre-owned helicopters increased year-on-year by 9% to 137 units in 2018. The most significant increase in retail transactions last year occurred in the light twin market, which increased 13%.
The absorption rate quickened year-on-year, across configurations and weight classes, by 40%. The medium twin-engined helicopters most impacted the average drop. For example, within the AW129 absorption rate dropped from 12 to 4 years.
Out of 13 pre-owned markets covered in the report: 9 had lower absorption rates than 2017, two stayed about the same and two had a higher rate, said Emmanuel Dupuy, sales director of Aero Asset.
“These are extremely positive signals in the pre-owned market,” he says.
Light helicopters had the lowest absorption rates at 1.6 years, followed by medium helicopters at 2.8 years and heavy helicopters at 5 years.
The pre-owned market report did not look at single-engined helicopters. It also did not include helicopters that were acquired through a lease, sale lease back agreement, internal transaction or early buy-out.