This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Avionics sales fell 33 percent in the third quarter and 27 percent year-to-date, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest data from the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA). Total sales in the three-month period ending September 30 were $519.6 million, compared with $708.8 million a year ago, while sales for the first nine months of 2020 were $1.67 billion, compared with $2.28 billion in the same period last year.
“The significant contraction of industry sales during the last six months has been driven by the international health crisis,” said AEA president and CEO Mike Adamson. Both retrofit and forward-fit (avionics installed by OEMs) sales were down when compared with the same period last year. “However, we are encouraged with the direction of activity in the retrofit market, which is up nearly 11 percent over second-quarter total sales,” Adamson added. “In addition, the overwhelming majority of AEA member shops and manufacturers are continuing their essential operations, and many are reporting customer backlogs that extend several weeks and into next year.”
Of the AEA members that break out sales geographically, North America accounted for nearly 73.7 percent of 2020 sales thus far, with other international markets accounting for the remainder. That compares with 74.9 percent North American sales and 25.1 percent international in the first nine months of 2019.
AEA's data is based on 21 manufacturers that confidentially report their sales to an independent third party. Dollar amounts that are reported are net sales price, not manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and cover all business and general aviation aircraft electronics sales, including all components and accessories in the flight deck and cabin, software upgrades, portables, and certified and noncertified aircraft electronics, as well as all hardware from tip to tail, batteries, and chargeable product upgrades. The sales figures don’t include repairs and overhauls, extended warranty, or subscription services.