WASHINGTON, 6 Aug. 2009. Worldwide shipments of general aviation aircraft, and associated general aviation avionics, were cut nearly in half over the first half of 2009, compared with the same period last year, according to market analysts at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in Washington.
Global shipments of general aviation business jets, turboprop- and piston engine-driven private aircraft fell 45.9 percent over the first half of 2009, dropping from 1,918 aircraft shipments in the first half of 2008 to 1,037 aircraft over the first six months of this year, GAMA officials say.
Over the same period, general aviation aircraft industry billings are down 22.7 percent, from $11.99 billion during the first half of 2008 to $9.26 billion over the first six months of this year, according to GAMA.
"These are extremely challenging times for all general aviation manufacturers and suppliers," says Pete Bunce, GAMA President and chief executive officer. "Layoffs continue and our industry has been forced to slow, and in some cases, temporarily halt production lines."
Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 434 units compared to 1,034 units delivered in the first half of 2008, a 58 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments decreased 13.6 percent from 221 units in the first six months last year to 191 units in 2009. Business jet shipments totaled 412 units, a 37.9 percent decrease over the 663 units delivered during this same period in 2008.
All is not doom and gloom in the general aviation aircraft business, however, Bunce says. "We are encouraged that the overall economic picture is showing some signs of improvement, which is a crucial condition for recovery in the general aviation market. Flight hours are stabilizing, used inventories are beginning to shrink, and our manufacturers are seeing signs of renewed interest in airplane purchases.
"We are also encouraged by reports that accelerated depreciation, passed by Congress earlier this year, is stimulating some orders," Bunce continues. "Even though it is too early to distinguish these indications as a trend, we are hopeful that this momentum with continue through the second half of the year."
For more information contact GAMA online at www.gama.aero.