How Coronavirus is Impacting the Helicopter Industry

Helicopter Agusta Leonardo AW139
How Coronavirus is Impacting the Helicopter Industry

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to wreak devastating havoc on the world, the impact of this global pandemic on the helicopter industry has been on the top of my mind. Over the last week, we have seen numerous deals either paused or cancelled outright, and we can anticipate that these issues will further evolve as coronavirus dominates the world stage. Here are the some of the main factors that will significantly impact short-term helicopter transactions:

Travel Disruption

While the world works to slow the spread of coronavirus, the most obvious effect on the helicopter industry is the variety of travel restrictions many countries have imposed. These range from closing borders, imposing travel bans, suspending international flights, and quarantining citizens and foreign nationals. Everything from the ability to inspect a helicopter, perform a borescope, provide maintenance and upgrade work, delivery of an aircraft, and pilot availability are affected. Buyers/Sellers will find it difficult to move an aircraft to their desired location.

OEM Disruption

In terms of helicopter manufacturing, OEMs – especially those located in Europe – are facing a number of challenges to production and delivery. Airbus is pausing production and assembly at its facilities in Spain and France, while Leonardo has halted delivery of helicopters from its plant in Italy.

Shifting Company Priorities

This is a very difficult time for many Companies to transact. Operators across the globe are facing financial challenges, capital is disappearing from Balance Sheets, and tough decisions will have to be made about business and helicopter assets. Many are shifting their focus entirely onto protecting their employees and contingency planning. This is exactly what should be expected – it is the correct thing to do for both the industry and for humanity.

The Future

It is clear that the helicopter industry, like every other industry, is about to take a significant short-term hit as Coronavirus continues to devastate the global economy and communities at large. However, the long-term impact on the industry may be a case of pent up supply and demand, as many transactions are deferred not cancelled forever.

With all that said, we have weathered difficult storms before – we have been through SARS, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, and more. It is a turbulent time for us all, but I am optimistic that we will recover. For myself, it is business as usual – I will continue to market aircraft, provide advisory, operate under appropriate continuity plans, and support my clients in any way possible. More than anything, I wish everyone and their families good health and fortune during this trying period.

Brad Shaen

International Aviation Marketing Ltd.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn at