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HAI Heli-Expo 2020 Roundup

February 21, 2020

It is always exciting to see so many people who love helicopters as much as we do! This year HAI Heli Expo was held in Anaheim, California. Thousands of exhibitors and attendees travelled from all around the world for the three-day frenzy.

While big announcements were scarce, there were a few major headlines this year and most importantly further product improvements and a multitude of new or upgraded products and services.

The show was marred by the sad accident that took place just a few days before the event some miles away. This was another reminder that safety is never to be taken for granted. It highlights the enduring struggle to reach a balance between maximum regulatory safety and ‘real world’ pragmatism.

One thing for sure, the show remains a unique opportunity to hear all kinds of voices throughout the industry and from around the world, feeling the pulse of the market beating strong despite enduring headwinds.

Perhaps the biggest headline was Leonardo buying over Kopter  which in one swoop will put Leonardo on the map to compete in the single turbine segment. Very strong in the medium twin segment, this purchase will be a big test for the organization both promising and challenging. Now the second largest helicopter manufacturer, this purchase will bring Leonardo head on with Airbus Helicopter holding on tight to its more than 50% overall market share.

Airbus Helicopters announced performance enhancements on both their H125 and H135 product lines giving their highly successful types one more boost. Direct Maintenance and Operational Costs will have to be monitored but those operators requiring the additional payload or mission capability will surely be happy. Airbus says it is close to achieving H160 certification which will see the latest type come to market in a difficult environment. While it is targeted at the AW139 market, the home military market will surely give the program the early support it requires.

Sikorsky announced incremental upgrades to the S92 to try to remain relevant in the difficult heavy offshore segment while Bell has stopped providing certification dates for the 525 but stays focused on bringing up the type for offshore starting in Norway. At the same time Bell Flight focuses on the long game and Urban Mobility.
In parallel, consolidation between the predominantly offshore but fast diversifying big market players continues with Bristow and Era coming together.

Offshore reduced growth, overcapacity, consolidation and new types coming to market promises a good show and plenty of healthy competition in the medium and super medium segments. Hopefully the operator will come out winner yet lower production numbers for any helicopter type is usually not a winning formula for anyone notably when it comes to customer support and direct maintenance costs.

Safran HE celebrated a record number of new product certifications and perhaps their biggest win, the launch of the AW189K with Gulf Helicopters.

Pratt & Whitney Canada, the only manufacturer to maintain top spot year after year in customer support surveys is adding capability with a new engine overhaul facility in Brazil where the world’s third-largest P&WC fleet is located.

New helicopter types and product enhancements are clear performance, safety and technological accelerators but  not always synonym with good customer support and reduced life cycle costs despite promises. Hearing from operators around the world, helicopters remain overly expensive to operate and maintain. Helicopter manufacturers have enormous power over the market  but their growth needs to be better aligned with what operators really need.

Case in point are the medium to very large HEMS operators in North America and Europe operating more and more homogenous fleet with very clear requirements: lower maintenance and operating costs, higher reliability (MTBUR and MTUF) and spares availability (new and repair parts).

Closer to home, Rotortrade was happy to announce the latest H225 sale to Air Greenland and associated return to service through HeliOne. Leonardo acknowledged Rotortrade for the  70 helicopters sold in the past seven years of successful partnership.

As we see the pre-owned market more and more dominant but also extremely atomized and muddled, we were proud to announce 2019 RT results of 30 helicopter bookings or almost double the number of transactions representing 150 tons of helicopters across missions, range and countries.

After a successful and busy HAI event, Rotortrade sales and marketing team spent 2 days sharing insights gained during the event from around the world and across cultures, translating those into actions to keep improving pre-owned helicopter purchases and divestments.

HAI Heli Expo was a great way to start the year and we look forward to seeing you again at the following events:

•    Helicopter Investor London, 25-25 February (London, UK)
•    AeroExpo Mexico, 3-5 March (Toluca, Mexico)
•    Safety Seminar Amigos de la Aviacion, 18-20 March (Merida, Mexico)
•    FIDAE, 31 March- 5 April (Santiago, Chile)
•    HeliRussia, 21-23 May (Moscow, Russia)
•    EBACE, 26-28 May (Geneva, Switzerland)
•    Aero Expo UK, 11-12 Jun (Marlow, UK)
•    Rotortech Australia, 15-18 Jun (Brisbane, Australia)

And of course, see you next year at HAI 2021 in New Orleans!

Please contact us for more information or to set up a meeting with our team at [email protected]

October 13, 2020

October 14, 2020

Anaheim, 28th January 2020
As reported by Leonardo:


Leonardo is celebrating at HAI’s Heli-Expo 2020 the longstanding partnerships and outstanding achievements of some of its official distributors who have contributed to the growing success and presence of its helicopters worldwide. Among them, Rotortrade has supported the growth of several models in key regions in recent years.

Rotortrade is a leading helicopter distributor and has been the sole global distributor of Leonardo’s pre-owned helicopters since 2014. The collaboration has led to a total of nearly 70 sales all over the world.

About Leonardo

Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries such as Leonardo DRS (defence electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space).

Leonardo designs and produces an extensive range of advanced helicopters covering all the main categories, from the 1.8 tonne single- engine to the 16 tonne three-engine. Most
of their products are designed for dual-use and ensure a wide range of missions with outstanding performance and safety. Leonardo manages the entire helicopter development and production cycle, including avionics and weapon systems integration.

About Rotortrade

Founded in 2012 in Singapore, Rotortrade is an independent helicopter dealer and sole global distributor of Leonardo’s pre-owned helicopters. Its extensive network throughout the spectrum of the industry enables it to carry a broad fleet of aircraft from all major manufacturers. The company’s comprehensive range of end-to-end services includes pre- purchase inspections & evaluations, maintenance & retrofit management and OEM Certified Pre-Owned warranty on selected airframes and engines. Led and privately owned by several industry veterans Rotortrade currently has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Marseilles, Montreal, Paris, Singapore and Melbourne as well as partnerships with regional market leaders around the world.

Poland, 28th January 2020
As reported by Heli-One


Heli-One, a leading provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, will perform two Return-to-Service programs for two H225s for Rotortrade, a leading international helicopter distributor. The work will take place at Heli-One Rzeszow, Poland.

Rotortrade had lead the way in managing, re-purposing and re-marketing the 11-ton Heavy Helicopter Super Puma H225 around the world. Heli-One has completed many Return-to-Service programs for operators, working with aircraft management companies and operators to meet operational requirements.

“Heli-One has a proven maintenance history with H225s with a global team of professionals that care about the quality and safety of their work. Rotortrade is a dynamic company dedicated to the full satisfaction of rightfully demanding clients and we have been happy to see Heli-One management shares our values and commitment,” said Raymond Lubrano, Partner at Rotortrade.

“The Heli-One Poland team is excited to perform these two Return-to-Service projects for leading helicopter sales company Rotortrade. These aircraft will perform critical missions in a dynamic environment, and we look forward to offering our full support to any maintenance or modification requirements they may have in the future,” said Christian Drouin, Vice-President Heli-One.

Heli-One has decades of experience supporting the family of Super Puma aircraft including the civilian and military variants of the AS332 (L/L1/L2), H225, and H215. Between the global Heli-One facilities, the company offers complete MRO services including engine and dynamic component overhaul. The two design teams have developed hundreds of major, minor, and repair solutions for the Super Puma including a vast array of cabin and equipment reconfiguration options.

About Heli-One

Heli-One is based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, and has MRO operations in Richmond, Canada; Delta, Canada; Stavanger, Norway; and Rzeszow, Poland. Heli-One is a leading independent MRO and hold certifications and expertise on a broad range of airframes and components from major helicopter and engine manufacturers, including Airbus, Sikorsky, Leonardo, Bell, Safran Helicopter Engines, Pratt & Whitney Canada and General Electric.
Heli-One is a segment of CHC Helicopter, the operating company of CHC Group Ltd.

About Rotortrade

Founded in 2012 in Singapore, Rotortrade is an independent helicopter dealer and sole global distributor of Leonardo’s pre-owned helicopters. Its extensive network throughout the spectrum of the industry enables it to carry a broad fleet of aircraft from all major manufacturers in all categories and mission profiles. The company’s comprehensive range of end-to-end services includes pre-purchase inspections & evaluations, maintenance & retrofit management and OEM Certified Pre-Owned warranty on selected airframes and engines. Led and privately owned by industry veterans, Rotortrade has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Marseilles, Mexico City, Montreal, Paris, Singapore and Melbourne as well as partnerships with regional market leaders around the world.

As brand-new civil turbine helicopter sales are expected to remain under even greater pressure in the coming years, the pre-owned market is set to take center stage. Brand new civil turbine sales have gone down to approximately 600 deliveries per year while pre-owned sales have reached 1,500 units yearly. The pre-owned market is now more than 2.5 times bigger than brand new. It’s no surprise OEMs are starting to pay attention as trade-in requests are becoming more and more standard.

Rotortrade takes a closer look at the Civil Pre-Owned Turbine helicopter market today:

- Among the 1,500 pre-owned helicopters changing hands in 2019 ~66% were single engine helicopters lead by Bell and Airbus Helicopters (ex-Eurocopter and ex-Aerospatiale) models.

- In the twin turbine engine segment, the number of sales is inevitably smaller, but the value represents ~70% of the pre-owned market. Here, Leonardo Helicopters (ex-Agusta Westland) and Sikorsky take a bigger piece of the pie.

- In the heavy category pure civil pre-owned sales remain limited and related to well positioned aircraft (serviceable, hourly programs, high load configuration etc.). We do see a measured yet notable resurgence of the AS332 and H225 Super Puma reconfigured from offshore to firefighting and utility.

- It is worth mentioning that the average vintage of single engine helicopters sold is slightly higher than that of twin engines: 1997 vs 2000. Leonardo AW helicopters sold have the youngest average Year of Manufacture (YOM): 2008. This bodes well for Leonardo models for the coming years. Overall Airbus models are the most popular, despite the average YOM of 2000.


Main Pre-Owned Market Drivers:

1. Type: Ultimately a function of brand-new sales popularity.

2. Price: In a buyer’s market, price remains the primary factor.

3. Maintainability: While a helicopter life is theoretically unlimited, spares, experienced personnel and cost-effective MRO options may be limiting factors.

4. Customization: Ability to easily retrofit and reconfigure across operators and missions.

5. Airworthiness Authority: FAA or EASA registered helicopters with only FAA/EASA STC’d modifications are more easily exported and operated around the world.

6. Age: Age restrictions apply in certain countries and operational contracts, while maintenance and aircraft history may also be an issue.

7. Life Cycle cost: Projected maintenance costs and resale values.

Rotortrade recommendations for the Pre-Owned Market:

1. Professionalization: The pre-owned market has to professionalize and standardize to a higher quality and service standard.

2. The market is king: Only the market and its combination of buyers and sellers set expectations. Listening to the market is not optional.

3. Mind your own business: Whether you want to buy or sell, if this is not your primary business, contract a professional you can trust whose only business it is.

4. Set expectations: Pre-owned market fundamentals are similar to any market and you should define your priorities: sell quick or sell at a maximum (market) price, go public or stay private, continue to operate or focus only on selling, consider holding costs, cost of money, investing to support marketability… Likewise on the buy side: define your prerogatives (present & future) and consider the entire life cycle cost and adequacy of the helicopter to well defined needs.

5. OEM support: OEMs have to provide more (affordable) support options and a wider range of optional equipment and certified retrofits. More mid-life used parts rather than brand new parts to lower DMC.

About Rotortrade

Founded in 2012 in Singapore, Rotortrade is an independent helicopter dealer and sole global distributor of Leonardo’s pre-owned helicopters. Its extensive network throughout the spectrum of the industry enables it to carry a broad fleet of aircraft from all major manufacturers. The company’s comprehensive range of end-to-end services includes pre- purchase inspections & evaluations, maintenance & retrofit management and OEM Certified Pre-Owned warranty on selected airframes and engines. Led and privately owned by several industry veterans Rotortrade currently has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Marseilles, Montreal, Paris, Singapore and Melbourne as well as partnerships with regional market leaders around the world.


Air Greenland is proud to announce it has taken delivery from Rotortrade of one EC225 fully configured for Search and Rescue missions, with another one to be delivered by June 2020. Rotortrade managed the return to service and customization work to deliver a turn-key solution with a full nose to tail program by the hour coverage.

Air Greenland, on behalf of the Danish State, runs the civilian Search and Rescue helicopter emergency response in Greenland and has decided to enhance its capabilities by purchasing these very recent and low time state of the art helicopters.

These two Super Puma helicopters will enable Air Greenland to be very well positioned to win the bidding of Greenland’s Search and Rescue contract renewal this summer.

Air Greenland works in cooperation with the Arctic Command, the local Police and the Joint Rescue Coordination Center to rescue people in distress from ships and water. They also carry out transfers and medical evacuations for the Greenlandic Department of Health.


Rotortrade Senior Partner, Raymond Lubrano said "We are proud to support a local operator that really has at heart his mission of saving lives and invests smartly to provide the best possible service in even the most extreme conditions ".

Rotortrade is playing a crucial role in the 225 pre-owned market resurrection, clearly leading the way in remarketing but also managing and repurposing the 225 Super Puma platform worldwide.

Air Greenland’s Technical Director, Jørn Rasmussen commented: “The Super Puma remains unbeatable in terms of performances and capabilities. We are fully confident on the type and are fully satisfied with the way Rotortrade has managed the entire project”.



About Air Greenland
Greenland’s national airline Grønlandsfly was founded in 1960. The company changed its name to Air Greenland in 2002 and has undergone rapid development during the last 50 years: From seaplanes to jet planes; and from helicopter services to scheduled services with fixed-wing aircraft. Then, as now, Air Greenland operates in Arctic airspace, which presents a unique range of challenges.

About Rotortrade
Founded in 2012 in Singapore, Rotortrade is an independent helicopter dealer and sole global distributor of Leonardo’s pre-owned helicopters. Its extensive network throughout the spectrum of the industry enables it to carry a broad fleet of aircraft from all major manufacturers. The company’s comprehensive range of end-to-end services includes pre- purchase inspections & evaluations, maintenance & retrofit management and OEM Certified Pre-Owned warranty on selected airframes and engines. Led and privately owned by several industry veterans Rotortrade currently has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Marseilles, Montreal, Paris, Singapore and Melbourne as well as partnerships with regional market leaders around the world.

Rotortrade 2019 Results

January 31, 2020

ROTORTRADE pursues organic growth, reports excellent 2019 results and predicts operators will buy more and more pre-owned helicopters in the coming years.

Rotortrade, a leading international distributor of helicopters announces excellent results and steady growth for 2019 reaching 30 bookings within the 12 months.

“Beyond the number of helicopters which was in line with our projections for the year, we are especially happy with the mix of helicopters representing more than 150 tons / 350,000 pounds across segments and missions taking into account helicopter empty weights. We are proud to have successfully brought to market light single to heavy helicopters in corporate-VIP, utility, firefighting, EMS and SAR configurations, managed several large scale returns to service, reconfigurations and customizations and having exported to over 20 different countries.”

“Our presence in all continents enables us to handle cross border transactions more efficiently. Beyond strategic choices, what we are most proud of is our team, always committed to meet customer needs and go the extra mile.” Says Aurélien Blanc, Managing Partner.

Working for the benefit of operators and aligned with its development plan, Rotortrade has opened two new offices in 2019, in Melbourne, focused on the ANZ market and a 3000 square feet facility in Marseilles providing further capabilities to the company. With these new branches, there are now eight offices around the world. In 2020 the company has already planned to open one more branch with a target to have a total of 10 branches located and structured according to markets demands.


“The helicopter market is very localized, RT’s global reach ensures we can fully harness global trends and build significant relationships with operators with whom we share the same values and culture.” Says Philippe Lubrano, President of Rotortrade.

The company believes the helicopter pre-owned market will continue to grow becoming an option fewer and fewer operators can ignore. “There has been a global glut in supply deflating asset prices but beyond that, the market is becoming more professional providing both buyers and sellers more dependable advice and asset management options.” Raymond Lubrano Rotortrade Senior Partner sees “significant room to improve and exciting opportunities for those agile enough.”

Rotortrade is pursuing consistently its drive to enhance customer experience for helicopter acquisition and divestment. In the pre-owned market notably, the company continues to work with Leonardo and other major OEMs insisting on quality, proximity and OEM warranty. Today RT offers AgustaWestland Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) helicopters from Leonardo, has jointly developed an industry leading CPO program with Pratt & Whitney Canada and a light CPO with Safran HE. Rotortrade is working closely with other major OEMs to follow suit and believes this will dramatically transform the value chain.

China Helicopter Exposition will offer rotorcraft industry professionals a stage to showcase and exhibit their capabilities, a business to business platform, static and dynamic demonstrations and conferences. Numerous companies are expected, including most of the Chinese and international market leaders in the helicopter industry.
Rotortrade will be there as well.

For more info and to schedule a meeting with our team please contact us at [email protected]

Rotortrade at MAKS 2019

August 22, 2019

Rotortrade will be participating in the International Aviation and Space Salon ‘MAKS-2019’ which will be held next week between August 27th and September 1st, 2019 in Moscow, Russia. We have exciting news to be announce during the show!

MAKS is held in Zhukovsky, a town synonymous with aviation science and technology. It will be help at the airfield of the country's central test base at Gromov Flight Research Institute. Rotortrade team will be there and we look forward to seeing you there.

For more info and to schedule an appointment please reach us at [email protected]

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