Used-helicopter asking prices plunged more than 25% for turbine-powered helicopters and sales of those and piston helicopters sank nearly 20% in this year's first quarter, compared to the same period in 2015, according to JETNET LLC.
Prices for used piston-powered helicopters in the period increased 14.4%, it noted.
Rotorcraft weren't alone in suffering such ill effects. Asking prices slipped and inventories of used aircraft increased in March for all types — business jets, business turboprops, helicopters and commercial airliners — compared to the same month last year, according to the Utica, New York-based corporate aviation/commercial aviation consulting firm.
The first-quarter performance marked a pause in a six-yr recovery of business jet sales since 2009's onset of the Great Recession led to a nearly 6% jump in the number of used business jets on the market.
This year, the number of used business jets crept up nearly a half percent (or 155 more aircraft) in the first quarter, compared to that period in 2015. "While this increase is a far cry from the pronounced spike of 2009," JETNET said in releasing its latest analysis, "Q1 2016 must be regarded as at least a disappointing step backwards for the business jet market."
In the first quarter, it said, used turbine-helicopter sales dropped 19.8% and sales of piston ones fell 19%. Those aircraft sold faster this year compared to Q1 2015. On average, the firm said, turbine sales closed 45 days faster (with an average time on market of 455 days) and piston sales in 10 days faster (with an average of 389 days on market).
But the asking price for used turbines decreased by 25.5% in the first-quarter year-over-year comparison.