First-quarter 2011 business jet and turboprop sales and retail transactions were positive, according to data providers Amstat and JetNet. “There are a lot of promising trends here,” wrote Amstat executive v-p Tom Benson in the company’s latest market update report. About 14.2 percent of the worldwide business aviation jet fleet is for sale, down from 14.7 percent three months ago. The turboprop fleet dropped to 11.6 percent from 11.9 percent.
The news that General Motors and Ford are shutting their flight departments has rattled the business aviation community. Some attributed the actions to the sensational media coverage the “Big 3” (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) executives faced after flying to Capitol Hill in private jets, while others blamed the subsequent $14 billion House bill that called for the distressed companies to sell their aircraft as a condition of the bailout.