Honeywell Foresees Steady Helicopter Sales

Manufacturers will deliver around 5,000 civil turbine-engine helicopters in the next five years as global demand remains fairly steady, according to Honeywell's latest market forecast.

Plunging oil prices and a roller-coaster ride of world currencies have caused some short-term market uncertainty, but in its 17th annual helicopter purchasing outlook Honeywell foresees a return to modest growth in the next two to three years.

The forecast estimates the five-year share of demand from North American customers at 34 percent, up nearly eight points on stronger U.S. buying plans. When combined with Latin America, the Western Hemisphere represents 53 percent of the five-year global demand. Europe's share tallies 24 percent, with the Asia-Oceania region accounting for 14 percent, and Africa and the Middle East contributing 9 percent.

"Near-term demand appears stable despite a pullback in 2014 deliveries and ongoing concerns with the energy sector," said Mike Madsen, President, Defense and Space at Honeywell Aerospace. "Purchase interest for helicopters in training, tourism, firefighting and law enforcement categories is trending up, influenced by increased utilization rates and helicopter replacement cycles."

Interest across these sectors is helping sustain demand in the short term. Demand will be boosted toward the end of the forecast period by the introduction of new helicopter models, such as the Airbus Helicopters H160 unveiled on Tuesday at Heli-Expo and the Bell 505 now in flight testing.

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