Piper Aircraft Still Flying High

 - October 7, 2008, 11:52 AM

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft today announced a 24-percent increase in third-quarter deliveries and an increase in year-over-year deliveries of 18 percent, resulting in a $25 million increase in billings compared with the same period last year. The manufacturer delivered 195 aircraft worth $150.5 million in the first nine months, compared with 166 deliveries worth $125 million during the same period last year. “There’s been a general market softness, but Piper’s success flies in the face of that,” said Piper president and CEO James Bass, adding that GA deliveries across the board have declined 16 percent. “We’re very confident about the Piper product.” Piper credits the PiperJet project launch for renewed interest in its other aircraft models, especially those on the high end. The PiperJet achieved first flight on July 30 and has flown 42 flights and 72 hours since then. While the company is putting a new focus on the high end of the market, it will be discontinuing the Saratoga TC and the Arrow due to declining market demand for the two aircraft.