Worldwide shipments of general aviation aircraft in 2010 declined for the third year in a row to 2015 units, down 11.4 per cent on 2009’s total of 2274, reports the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Billings in fact rose by 1.2 percent to $19.7 billion, driven by deliveries of long-range, large-cabin aircraft, but overall business jet deliveries were down to 763, down 12.3 per cent on 2009. In the piston aircraft segment a total of 889 units were shipped in 2010, compared to 963 units in 2009, a 7.7 per cent decline. The turboprop sector was down 17.7 per cent, shipping 363 units in 2010, compared to 441 units the previous year.
All three aircraft types were highlighted as “areas of concern” by GAMA chairman (and CEO of Dassault Falcon) John Rosanvallon, who also noted there has been a “sluggish used market and the lack of third-party financing, especially for the middle and light end of the business jet segment, as well as turboprops and piston engine powered airplanes”.
Speaking at GAMA’s ‘State of the Industry’ press conference, Rosanvallon reported that the global economic downturn continued to negatively impact general aviation manufacturers in 2010, but that signs of recovery had started to emerge. “Our industry experienced another challenging year that required many manufacturers to continue to make careful decisions about production schedules, employment and product development,” Rosanvallon said.
“However, despite the pain caused by the downturn, we are now seeing strong GDP growth on a global level and corporate profits are up. This bodes well for general aviation’s future as shipments have traditionally lagged an economic recovery by one to two years.”
Rosanvallon also underscored other indicators pointing to a turnaround, including market recovery outside the principal North American and European sectors, an overall increase in flying hours and “two critical US tax provisions” now in place to help the aviation industry.