Statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reveal that business aircraft deliveries did not show much evidence of resurgence during the third quarter. While the industry overall recorded a 4.2-percent increase, the business jet landscape remained virtually flat, with the OEMs reporting deliveries of 428 private jets through the first nine months of the year, just one more than they did during the same period last year. In the third quarter, airframers handed over 134 jets, a decrease from the 171 delivered in the second quarter of the year.
“What we heard from our customers recently at AOPA’s summit and NBAA’s convention indicates that purchase decisions continue to be delayed due to fiscal uncertainty in our North American and European markets,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA’s president and CEO. “Now that the U.S. election is behind us, we hope that legislators quickly act on the nation’s budget crisis so that individuals and businesses can begin to chart their own long-range fiscal paths.”
Results for the first nine months (see PDF below) showed Cessna scored improvement across its entire product line except for the very light Citation Mustang, deliveries of which fell 25 percent compared with January through September 2011. The Wichita airframer saw significant increases in the number of CJ4s and midsize XLS+s handed over.
Though Bombardier experienced continued softness in its Learjet line, the Canadian manufacturer saw an overall 3.5-percent increase over the first nine months of 2011, led mainly by a more than 52-percent rise in the number of Challenger 300s delivered.
Dassault improved its January-to-September deliveries year-over-year by approximately 23 percent, handing over four more copies each of the Falcon 2000LX and Falcon 7X.
On paper, Gulfstream saw a more than 20-percent decrease in deliveries in the first three quarters of this year compared with the same period last year, but a representative noted that the company concluded the G200 program with its final delivery in January and will soon begin delivering the G280, its recently certified successor. Likewise, the Savannah-based OEM expects to hand over the first completed G650s before year-end.. To align itself with other GAMA members’ reporting criteria, Gulfstream no longer includes green aircraft delivered to its completion centers in its totals.
Embraer reported a drop of more than 6 percent in deliveries for the first nine months. As evidence of the continued slump at the lowest end of the jet market, the Brazilian manufacturer delivered 20 percent fewer Phenom 100s during the first nine months of this year than during the corresponding period last year.
With the future of its business jet lines in doubt, Hawker Beechcraft, which shut down jet production in October, handed over 23 jets in the first three quarters of this year, down 23 percent from the 30 it delivered over the same period last year. The Wichita manufacturer managed to hand over four more Hawker 900XPs year-over-year.
In the realm of bizliners, through the first three quarters of the year, Boeing saw a 75-percent increase in green deliveries, led by the BBJ2 and the introduction of a private version of the 747-8. Airbus remained static at six aircraft deliveries, including one ACJ330, the first of which was handed over in the third quarter of the year. Embraer also delivered one Lineage 1000 during the period, after handing over none of the private E190-derived twinjets in the first nine months of 2011.
Overall, the turboprop market saw a 10.5-percent increase year-over-year, but when one considers only the higher-end pressurized models, that segment saw a 4.8-percent decline from the 146 aircraft delivered in the first nine months of 2011 to 139 in 2012. Daher-Socata was the only manufacturer in the segment to show an increase in deliveries, and then by only the slimmest of margins. The French airframer handed over just one more TBM850 during the January-through-September period than it did during that period in 2011.
King Air deliveries remained static, with 55 of the turboprop twins handed over during the first three quarters of both years; Piper also remained flat with Meridian deliveries.
Pilatus saw a nearly 8-percent decrease in its year-over-year production, which translates to three fewer PC-12s handed over in the first three quarters of this year, while Piaggio saw the number of Avanti IIs delivered decline by more than 70 percent, from seven in the first nine months of 2011 to just two in the same period this year.
Total industry billings gained 1.4 percent over the first three quarters of 2011, growing from $12.1 billion to $12.3 billion.
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Turbine Business Airplane Worldwide Deliveries–First Nine Months 2012 versus First Nine Months 2011 (167K)
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