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Look out below: 2020 avionics sales slip from high to low

The $2.223 billion in total aircraft electronics sales for 2020 was down 26 percent from record high industry sales of $3 billion in 2019, AEA said in its 2020 year-end Avionics Market Report released February 9.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic began to weigh heavily near the end of the first quarter, with sales bottoming in the second quarter. A 5.9-percent rebound in the third quarter, largely spurred by retrofit activity, continued in the final quarter with another 8.5-percent improvement. Still, the fourth-quarter sales figure came in about 28 percent lower than the comparable three months of 2019, according to figures from the Lee’s Summit, Missouri-based industry monitor.

“The last half of 2020 provided a softer landing as yearly sales totals slid back to roughly the same numbers in 2016-17,” said AEA President Mike Adamson in a news release. “Despite the health crisis and its economic impact, I am encouraged that industry experienced steady growth during the last half of the year.

“Although 2020 year-end sales are significantly down from last year’s all-time high, we see positive signs in the retrofit market, which means our members are keeping busy with avionics upgrades. We are hopeful the combination of innovative new products, the resilience of consumers who continue to focus on upgrades, and an uptick in aircraft production can fuel more sales growth in 2021.”

The market for retrofit avionics—products installed in aircraft after their original production—generated $1.24 billion in sales for the year, or approximately 56 percent of the total, with the remaining 44 percent representing sales of electronics equipment for new-production aircraft.

Twenty-one companies reported their results to an independent third-party company that produced the published data for 2020.

The results do not include repairs and overhauls, extended warranty, or subscription services.

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