GAMA, the General Aviation Manufacturers’ Association, has released it’s quarterly production report covering January to March 2020. This covers the general aviation aircraft shipments and billings for the first quarter of 2020. Piston, turboprop, business jet and rotorcraft deliveries declined across all segments during the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019.
The #COVID19 lockdowns were not coming in until at least mid-March, particularly in the US, and we expect the Q2 numbers to look shockingly bad.
Airbus Helicopters was the only manufacturer showing higher figures in 2020, with 46 units shipments and billing of $238 million. Comparable figures for 2019 were 44 units and $200.5 million. The sharper increase in billing indicates that there were more larger helicopters shipped this year, but the 2020 data has not been broken down by type so it cannot be analysed further against the 2019 data which was split by model.
Bell has shipped 15 helicopters in Q1, exactly half of the 30 shipped in Q1 of 2019. Billing fell from $85 million to $61.7 million, with the softer fall of 27% there helped by an increase in 429 shipments from 2 up to 5. Bell 407s were down from 7 to 3, while 505s fell sharply from 18 to 7. Q1 in 2019 also saw three Bell 412s shipped, but none left the production line for customers this year.
Enstrom has had a bad quarter with no helicopters shipped at all. In Q1 of 2019 their figures showed six 280FXs shipped for a billing of $3.748 million. These were likely most (possibly all) the last deliveries of an order for at least 16 for the Pakistan Army.
French manufacturer Guimbal also had a poor Q1 with only two G2 Cabris shipped against 6 the year before. Billing data suggests a US$ price of $330K per unit in 2019 has risen to $400K in 2020. That needs to be put in the context that of Guimbal billing in Euros, and thus the exchange rate differences would need to be taken into account too.
Leonardo follows a similar track to Bell with Q1 shipments down from 19 to 10, and billings down from $189.3 million to $101.6 million. The manufacturer has not delivered any AW109s at all in Q1 this year, while the AW139 numbers fell from 10 to 6, and AW169s from 6 to 1. The billing numbers were helped by a lone AW101 in the first quarter this year.
Robinson has fared comparably well, with 50 helicopters shipped in Q1 of 2020 against 66 a year earlier. This includes a rise of R66 Turbine helicopters from 12 up to 15. Billing figures fell 15% to $28.55 million.
MD Helicopters do not provide data to GAMA.
Sikorsky reported zero deliveries in Q1 of both 2020 and 2019, but we note that they did that for Q1, Q2 and Q3 in 2019 – so perhaps they are just providing annual figures in Q4? We would hope that they are supportive enough of our industry to report accurate figures each quarter.
Overall, piston-engined helicopters fared worse, down from 66 units to 37 – a fall of 44%. Turbine helicopters did comparably better, but were still down 28% from 171 units to 123. [Note – the 171 and 123 figures are based on the detailed stats by type from GAMA, although we note that their summary numbers show 170 and 122 respectively. We rechecked our calculations more than once to be sure]
GAMA separately report “Other Military and Government Aircraft Shipments”, just listing airframes shipped without the billing numbers. Bell’s deliveries of H-1 and V-22s rose from 8 to 9. NH Industries shipped 1 NH90 against 2 in 2019, and Sikorsky fell slightly from 16 to 15.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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