The Aircraft Electronics Association’s data shows that worldwide avionics sales, while still topping $1.1 billion, fell by almost a quarter in the first half of 2020. Earlier reports disclosed that sales fell overall by 8.8 percent in the first quarter but picked up substantially worse losses in the second quarter, with a reduction of 37.3 percent compared to 2019, which was a historically strong year with total sales of more than $3 billion. Overall, for the first half of the year, total sales are down almost 24 percent.
“Realizing a substantial decrease in worldwide avionics sales during the second quarter was the expectation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said AEA President and CEO Mike Adamson. “The economic impact of the disease has been significant, and the business and general aviation electronics industry is not immune to the crisis. However, I remain optimistic that our industry will be poised for recovery as our shops and manufacturers continue their essential operations, legislators continue to address key employment initiatives, and our industry amplifies the immense value of business and general aviation as an economic catalyst.”
In the first half of the year, the overall falloff was evenly split between retrofit and “forward-fit,” or new installations, though retrofits actually gained some market share in the second quarter. Some of the year-on-year comparisons are muddied by the push in 2019 to accomplish ADS-B equipage by the January 2020 deadline, but the overall picture reflects the general pullback in aviation and, for some shops, the inability to complete work due to COVID-19 restrictions.