Jet, turboprop deliveries continue in earnest

 - August 29, 2007, 11:08 AM

Deliveries of both jets and turboprops were up again in the first half of this year, according to second-quarter numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

Both sectors increased output in the first half of this year by approximately 14 percent beyond last year’s first-half figures. Although most experts expected jet deliveries to increase, the solid and decisive rise in turboprops suggests that those who pronounced the propeller obsolete in business aviation were a trifle premature.

Most manufacturers increased deliveries by double-digit margins, and all but Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier boosted their delivery numbers. Eclipse exhibited the most marked improvement, testament to its relatively recent certification and production ramp-up. Regardless, the start-up is to a point where it is now delivering jets in measurable quantities. Cessna continues to deliver a trickle of Citation Mustangs rather than a torrent, despite a healthy order backlog.

Billings for the first half of the year were also up. The entire industry, including piston aircraft, billed almost $10 billion for aircraft in the first six months of the year, compared with less than $9 billion during the same period last year.