While the number of business jet deliveries and overall industry billings continued to slide in the first quarter of 2012, there was a minor retrenchment for the turboprop segment, according to numbers released late last week by the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). For the first quarter of the year, OEMs handed over 122 bizjets, a decrease from the 128 it delivered in same period last year, a decline of 4.7 percent, while the number of turboprops rose by two year-over-year, representing a better than 3-percent gain. With a decrease from $3.68 billion to $3.39 billion, billings for the industry saw an 8-percent drop from the first three months of 2011.
“The first-quarter shipment data shows mixed performance across the segments,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce, who views a global lack of available financing as a continuing concern for the industry. “An important step forward would be for the U.S. Congress to quickly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank,” he said. “The lending authority of the bank spurs sales which are essential to revitalizing the manufacturing sector.”