Business jet deliveries remained virtually unchanged in the first quarter of 2023 from the same period last year, while turboprop deliveries increased by more than 6 percent, according to information released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Manufacturers delivered 117 jets in the first three months of 2023, one fewer than they did a year ago, while the same number represented a seven-unit increase for turboprops. The higher-end pressurized turboprop segment, however, was off by 5 percent, with two fewer deliveries in the first quarter of 2023. Total airplane billings declined by 3.5 percent year-over-year.
The delivery totals for most jet OEMs were equal to their 2022 numbers or slightly lower in the first quarter of 2023, though there were some exceptions, particularly in the very light jet category. Cirrus ramped up the year-over-year deliveries of its single-engine SF50 Vision Jet, handing over seven more of them in the first quarter of this year than in the same period in 2022, while for the first time in five years, Eclipse Aerospace delivered a pair of Eclipse 550s. Pilatus delivered three more PC-24s in the first quarter than it did in the same time last year.
Daher and Piper were the only pressurized turboprop manufacturers to improve on their first-quarter 2022 delivery totals, with the former handing over three more single-engine TBMs in the first three months of this year, and the latter improving upon its M600 total.
For turbine-powered helicopters, the news was more robust, with deliveries in the segment increasing by more than 50 percent, from 100 in the first quarter of 2022 to 153 in the same period this year. Total rotorcraft billings soared by nearly 60 percent to $800 million for the quarter. Airbus Helicopters saw an 88 percent increase in its year-over-year output, more than doubling its H125 production, with deliveries rising from 14 to 30 for the quarter. Leonardo delivered 12 more units than in the 2022 period, nearly tripling the number of AW119Kx aircraft it handed over, while Robinson Helicopter increased its R66 production by 10 over its first-quarter 2022 total of 21.
“The continued health of the general aviation manufacturing industry is encouraging, particularly in light of persistent supply-chain, workforce, and North American regulatory process challenges,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “Our manufacturers are focused on meeting this thriving product demand with new aircraft which incorporate advanced technologies that further enhance safety and fuel performance." He noted that the business aviation industry serves as an incubator for sustainability. "This message is being emphasized this week at EBACE in Geneva and will also be a focus at the Paris Airshow as we counter the shortsighted, irrational attacks directed upon business aviation in Europe."