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Avionics sales hit by coronavirus pandemic

Aircraft operators spent $1.67 billion on avionics through the third quarter of 2020, down from $2.29 billion in the comparable portion of 2019, putting activity on a track toward the first full down year since 2016, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s Third-Quarter 2020 Avionics Market Report.

Retrofits accounted for 54.5 percent of year-to-date sales, with the remaining 45.5 percent driven by airframe manufacturers equipping new aircraft.

“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 in a news release. “However, we are encouraged with the direction of activity in the retrofit market, which is up nearly 11% over second-quarter total sales. 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.”

Although data about the third quarter of 2020 reflected a 33.4-percent decrease in the value of sales from the combined months of July, August, and September 2019, the 2020 Q3 net-sales numbers improved on 2020 Q2 by approximately $29 million.

The tally reversed a downturn that had been “the expectation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Adamson noted at the time AEA reported the Q2 setback.

The figures used by the Lee’s Summit, Missouri-based organization reports for analyzing industry sales do not include repairs and overhauls, extended warranty, or subscription services.

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