If it had it not been for the shipments last year from two relatively new very light jet aircraft newcomers—Honda and Cirrus—delivery figures in 2017 would have been significantly lower than in 2016. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, manufacturers delivered 667 business jets in 2016 plus just nine more in 2017, resulting in a 1.3 percent gain.
In its weekly report on the business aviation industry, independent consulting and research firm Corporate Jet Investor observed, “Without the HondaJet and SF50 shipments, total deliveries last year would have fallen by 8.3 percent.”
Honda finished 2016 having delivered 23 HondaJets. Last year, Honda almost doubled its shipments, to 43 aircraft. Meanwhile, initial deliveries of the Cirrus SF50 single-engine very light jet occurred in the final quarter of 2016, but last year Cirrus delivered 22 new aircraft.
The report also highlighted the fact that Airbus did not deliver any ACJs during the year, and Boeing did not deliver any BBJs. “Gulfstream’s G450 and G550 deliveries have slowed over the past two years, as have Bombardier Global family deliveries.” The report concluded, "It could be easy to jump to conclusions and say that we are seeing a shift towards smaller aircraft. But it would not necessarily be true. We are now effectively in a lull between periods, waiting for the next set of new [larger] aircraft to be delivered.”
Corporate Jet Investor also recognized that this year’s figures will be influenced by double-digit deliveries of another newcomer in the light jet segment: the Pilatus PC-24.