Bizjet, Turboprop Deliveries Off To Slow Start in 2011

 - May 10, 2011, 11:20 AM

In the first quarter, general aviation airplane shipments fell 4.6 percent, from 390 aircraft last year to 372 this year, according to data released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). However, GA airplane billings dived by 19.6 percent year-over-year to $3.7 billion in the first three months, due primarily to a 22-percent drop in business jet shipments, from 164 aircraft to 128. Turboprop deliveries slid 6.7 percent year-over-year, from 60 in 2010 to 56 this year. Bucking the trend, piston shipments climbed from 166 last year to 188 this year, a rise of 13.3 percent. “This has been a very difficult year to date as a result of the slow economic recovery in North America and Europe,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Emerging market deliveries continue to help sustain the industry. The bright spot in the first quarter is the piston segment. This good news may be indicative of the start of a recovery in the traditional markets that we hope will accelerate with the 100-percent expensing tax provision in the U.S.” In fact, several business jet OEMs have indicated that deliveries this year are skewed more toward the third and fourth quarter as customers seek to take advantage of this 100-percent depreciation, which requires delivery by year-end. This means the segment could show a strong comeback in the second half.