General aviation aircraft shipments were down in 2011 but billing figures rose marginally as the market appeared poised for a turnaround, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said.
In its annual report, GAMA said 1865 aircraft were shipping worldwide in 2011, down from 1932 in 2010, with shipments slumping across the piston plane, turboprop and business jet sectors. However, general aviation billings remained steady at US$19.1 billion, a 0.4 per cent increase over the previous year.
“A majority of the market fundamentals are moving in the right direction,” GAMA chairman Caroline Daniels said. ‘Corporate profits remain at record high levels, the used market and flight activity made year over year improvements, and emerging markets are driving new sales.”
But Daniels said a lack of available financing remains a drag on the industry and a source of serious concern.
“Latent demand in the market exists and an ease in the credit markets could help boost our industry into positive growth once again,” she said.
“The piston airplane segment shipped a total of 860 units in 2011, compared to 873 units in 2010, a 1.5 per cent decline,” GAMA said. “The turboprop sector was down 2.4 per cent, shipping 324 units in 2011, compared to 332 units the previous year. The business jet sector declined 6.3 per cent with 681 airplanes shipped, compared to 727 jets in 2010.”
GAMA notes the figures do no include Hawker Beechcraft deliveries in either the fourth quarter of 2010 or fourth quarter 2011, as its figures for the quarter have yet to be reported.