Teal Group forecasts modest growth in civil helo market
The Teal Group released its annual 10-year forecast of the helicopter market on July 19. Despite its overall optimism, however, there was no good news for the civil segment. The Fairfax, Va.-based market analysis firm predicted the manufacture of 8,979 rotorcraft with a value of $80.1 billion from 2004 to 2013. The forecast represents strong growth over the previous decade, when production totaled 7,793 helicopters valued at $51.1 billion. The bad news is Teal expects that of the 8,979 rotorcraft to be built in the coming decade, only 4,396 will be civil aircraft valued at $12.2 billion–a modest improvement on the 4,154 civil helicopters built in the previous decade. According to Teal lead analyst Richard Aboulafia, “The civil helicopter segment remains the single most stagnant aviation market, with little hope of change.” He added that “notably high oil prices have done little to stimulate demand.” Long-term homeland security requirements might provide relief, he said, “but this could prove disappointing as well.” Teal also suggested further industry consolidation might be in the cards. Among the possibilities: a full Agusta/Bell/Westland alliance or a Boeing/Sikorsky merger.