GAMA Airplane Shipments Off 46 Percent in 1H

 - August 4, 2009, 12:24 PM

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s second-quarter shipment and billings report, released this afternoon, shows that general aviation airplane shipments so far this year fell 45.9 percent, from 1,918 in the first half of last year to 1,037 in the same period this year. Industry billings are down 22.7 percent to $9.26 billion. Turboprop shipments decreased 13.6 percent from 221 aircraft in the first six months of last year to 191 aircraft this year. Meanwhile, business jet shipments fell 37.9 percent, from 663 aircraft in the first half of last year to 412 in the same six-month period this year. Piston shipments were off a staggering 58 percent, falling from 1,034 aircraft last year to 434 this year. “These are extremely challenging times for all general aviation manufacturers and suppliers. Layoffs continue and our industry has been forced to slow and, in some cases, temporarily halt production lines,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. However, he said there are some encouraging signs that the economy is improving, a development that is trickling down to the GA industry. “Flight hours are stabilizing, used inventories are beginning to shrink, and our manufacturers are seeing signs of renewed interest in airplane purchases,” Bunce said. “We are also encouraged by reports that accelerated depreciation, passed by Congress earlier this year, is stimulating some new orders. Even though it is too early to distinguish these indications as a trend, we are hopeful that this momentum will continue through the second half of the year.”