WASHINGTON, 4 Dec. 2008.General aviation aircraft shipments during the first nine months of 2008 increased over the same period one year ago, say analysts of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in Washington.
A total of 2,977 airplanes, worth $18.2 billion, were shipped in the first three quarters of this year, compared to 2,918 airplanes worth $15.1 billion during this same period in 2007, GAMA analysts say.
Business jet shipments totaled 990 units in the first three quarters of 2008, a 30.1 percent increase over the 761 units delivered during this same period in 2007. Regional transport turboprop shipments increased from 300 units in the first three quarters last year to 341 units in 2008, and piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 1,646 units compared to 1,857 units delivered in the first three quarters of 2007, an 11.4 percent decrease, GAMA analysts say.
Despite an increase in the number and value of general aviation aircraft during the first three quarters of this year, the global economic downturn still is hurting general aviation, GAMA officials say.
"Notwithstanding these positive third quarter numbers for turbine powered aircraft deliveries, our industry is experiencing difficulties due to the weakness of the global economy," says Pete Bunce, GAMA's president and chief executive officer.
"Reacting to the lead and lag nature of this economic slowdown, several companies have announced layoffs and are working aggressively to retain orders and encourage ones," Bunce says. "Even as the price of fuel has declined from the debilitating high levels we saw this past summer, the uncertainty of financial markets worldwide is negatively influencing the entire aviation industry."