How Hot is the Used Helicopter Sales Market?

The global used helicopter market has experienced significant growth in recent years, with several factors contributing to its current trajectory.

This article explores the current state of the pre-owned helicopter market, the factors that drive its growth, and the opportunities that await both buyers and sellers.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first helicopter or are a seasoned helicopter owner, understanding the market dynamics is essential for making informed decisions.

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Used helicopter market overview

The pre-owned helicopter market has witnessed a surge in demand over the last few years, driven by a combination of factors.

One primary driver has been the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in increased demand for private and corporate travel.

Additionally, advancements in helicopter technology and increased affordability of used models have made them a more attractive option for potential buyers.

In 2022, the global helicopter market was valued at approximately $30.6 billion, with the pre-owned segment making up a significant portion of this figure. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 6.1% between 2022 and 2027, demonstrating the industry’s potential for continued expansion.

Factors fueling the used helicopter market

Several factors contribute to the growth of the used helicopter market, including:

Economic recovery: The global economy’s gradual recovery has led to increased demand for private and business travel, especially as companies seek to expand their operations and reach new markets. This growth in demand has translated to a higher interest in pre-owned helicopters as a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new models.

Technological advancements: The rapid advancements in helicopter technology have made used models more attractive to potential buyers.

Modern helicopters come equipped with cutting-edge avionics, fuel-efficient engines, and advanced safety features. As owners upgrade to newer models, well-maintained used helicopters become available at lower price points.

Cost savings: Purchasing a pre-owned helicopter can result in significant cost savings compared to buying a new model. This affordability factor has attracted new buyers to the market, as well as those who are upgrading from older models.

Increased availability: With more owners looking to upgrade their helicopters or sell them due to changing needs, there is an increased availability of used helicopters on the market. This greater selection allows buyers to find the exact make and model they are looking for at competitive prices.

Popular models in the used helicopter market

Several models are particularly popular in the used helicopter market due to their reliability, performance, and overall value. Some of these include:

Bell 206: This versatile helicopter is known for its reliability and performance, making it an excellent choice for private owners, businesses, and government agencies. With a seating capacity of up to five passengers and a range of over 300 miles, the Bell 206 is a popular choice in the used helicopter market.

Robinson R44: The Robinson R44 is a cost-effective and efficient option for those looking to enter the helicopter market.

As a light utility helicopter, it is widely used for private, business, and flight training purposes. Its affordable operating costs and impressive performance make it a sought-after model in the pre-owned market.

Airbus H125 (formerly Eurocopter AS350 B3): This single-engine helicopter is known for its versatility and high-performance capabilities, making it a popular choice for various applications, such as aerial work, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.

The Airbus H125’s reputation for reliability and low operating costs have made it a preferred option in the used helicopter market.

Leonardo AW109: The Leonardo AW109 is a twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopter that excels in VIP/corporate transport, emergency medical services, and law enforcement roles.

Its advanced avionics, comfortable cabin, and impressive performance make it a sought-after model among buyers in the pre-owned market.

Sikorsky S-76: A medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter, the Sikorsky S-76 is designed for executive transport, search and rescue, and offshore operations.

Known for its reliability, performance, and spacious cabin, the S-76 continues to be a popular choice in the used helicopter market.

Challenges and opportunities in the used helicopter market

While the used helicopter market is experiencing significant growth, there are challenges that buyers and sellers must consider, such as:

Regulatory compliance: Ensuring that a used helicopter is in compliance with regulations and industry standards can be a challenging process.

Buyers must ensure they purchase a helicopter that meets airworthiness requirements and has a verifiable maintenance history.

Maintenance and inspection costs: Buyers should be prepared for potential maintenance and inspection costs when purchasing a pre-owned helicopter. These costs can be substantial, especially if the aircraft requires significant upgrades or repairs.

Despite these challenges, there are numerous opportunities in the used helicopter market:

Customization: Purchasing a used helicopter provides the opportunity to customize it to suit specific requirements.

Buyers can upgrade the avionics, refurbish the interior, or even modify the exterior paint scheme to align with their preferences or corporate branding.

Market expansion: The growth of the used helicopter market is expected to continue, creating opportunities for new entrants and industry veterans alike.

As demand for pre-owned helicopters remains strong, businesses can capitalize on this trend by providing specialized services, such as brokerage, maintenance, and support.

Global reach: The used helicopter market’s expansion is not limited to a single region, offering buyers and sellers the opportunity to connect with potential customers and partners worldwide.

This global reach allows for a more extensive selection of used helicopters and the ability to find the best match based on location, price, and specifications.


The used helicopter market is experiencing impressive growth, driven by factors such as economic recovery, technological advancements, and increased affordability.

As the market continues to expand, opportunities for buyers and sellers abound, making it an ideal time to consider entering or investing in the pre-owned helicopter market.

By understanding the factors fueling this growth, potential buyers and sellers can make informed decisions and capitalize on the opportunities available in this hot market segment.