I’ve been waiting for the axe to fall. Every analyst call, every press briefing, I’ve been braced to hear the boom is over, and the bust has begun. I’m talking about business aviation. Today (12 February) it was the General Aviation Manufacturers Associations’ opportunity to burst the bubble at its annual industry review in Washington, DC.
The US economy may be tanking (sorry, slowing), dragged down by dodgy loans and pricey fuel, but business aircraft manufacturers believe their record backlogs remain secure for now. Largely because 50% or more of the aircraft on order are for customers outside North America. As long as the US economic malaise is not catching, deliveries should hold up.
Clearly the US downturn is hurting some sectors of the GA industry – witness the funding woes of VLJ hopefuls Adam and ATG.And the decline in piston-singles sales to private fliers and flight schools suffering the credit crunch. But so far, as GAMA’s figures show, business users are hanging in there.