Bizav’s delivery slump continues

 - April 21, 2008, 12:49 PM

The numbers are in for deliveries of business aircraft in the first half of this year, and the news isn’t good despite a slight increase of 27 aircraft shipments from the first quarter 2002 to the second quarter. From 571 in the first half of last year, aircraft deliveries dropped a numbing 24.87 percent to 429 in the first half of this year.

The numbers are based in part on the quarterly report of all general aviation deliveries by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. In its July 19 release, GAMA president Ed Bolen noted that shipments are down in every category of airplane, reflecting “…the current uncertainty about the U.S. economy.”

At this point, few of the OEMs would be inclined to disagree.

Troubled Raytheon Aircraft saw deliveries tumble from 117 in the first half of 2001 to 67 for that period in 2002. Bombardier’s numbers fell from 114 to 74 and Dassault Falcon Jet watched deliveries decrease from 48 to 30. The New Piper Aircraft, which had delivered a total of 51 of its new Meridian turboprops in the first half of 2001 shipped only 11 in that period in 2002. And Pilatus’ deliveries of its PC-12 dropped from 24 to 17.

There was some good news, but most of it attributable to initial deliveries of new aircraft to fill substantial order backlogs.

Gulfstream Aerospace numbers showed no change in total number of deliveries with 51. But that total includes three G100s and seven G200s delivered in the first quarter 2001. At that time, both aircraft were being produced by Galaxy Aerospace, as the Astra SPX and Galaxy, respectively. Galaxy Aerospace was subsequently acquired by Gulfstream Aerospace’s parent company General Dynamics. Removing the Galaxy airplane delivery numbers from both years shows a two-unit decrease in deliveries of “pure” Gulfstream aircraft.

At Cessna Aircraft, deliveries actually increased with 140 airplanes shipped in the first half of last year and 149 this year. CJ2 deliveries jumped from 18 to 35 aircraft and Citation Bravo deliveries went from 17 to 24.