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AEA Avionics Market 2021 Report Issued

Industry is Healing, But Still Has a Ways to Go Before it Sees 2019 Numbers Once Again

The Aircraft Electronics Association has released the 2021 year-end Avionics Market Report showing worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales for the year came to more than $2.3 billion. 

Overall, it represented a 6.5% increase in total year-end sales over 2020, a good indicator that the industry is growing as hoped despite continuing supply issues on the components side. Sales particularly picked up in the 4th quarter, showing a 7.4% bump through October, November and December compared to 2020 numbers. The streak of increasing sales numbers continued through Q4, coming up by 0.6% over the previous quarter, the 6th increase in a row.

Avionics manufacturers have seen continued business, with the retrofit market accounting for 54.6% and new production OEM installations at 45.4%. The totals from the AEA do not include repairs, overhauls, warranty, or subscription services, only hard equipment sales, meaning all those pricey subscription packs for updated charts aren't unduly inflating the numbers. 

The majority of the avionics sales are made in the USA and Canada, as is the norm. The North American region accounted for 75.2% of the total sales, with 24.8% in the rest of the world. It should be noted that sales tallied are only those reported to the Association, and, given the AEA has a predominantly American and western membership accounting for their sales. Foreign avionics manufacturers, like Chinese Aviation juggernaut COMAC, or smaller producers like Chengdu, Xi’an, and Shenyang are left completely out of the picture, with much less opacity in their reporting. The reports, therefore, are best used as an indicator of health in those areas of highest reporting, i.e. the majority of the western avionics market. So, how are things? Trends are largely positive, as markets recover to their pre-pandemic levels. 2020 saw a -26% hit against the year previous, putting 2021’s sub-7% growth in perspective. In 2019, the industry reported just over $3 billion in overall sales, which, compared to 2021's $2.3 billion, means there is still quite a ways to dig out of this hole yet. 



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