Business jet sales remain weak in some areas, but a resurgence of large jet orders fuelled by new products drove the market’s best third quarter in five years in terms of book value, according to shipment data released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
The world’s seven business jet manufacturers delivered 138 jets in the third quarter this year compared with 134 in the same period a year ago.
Although the number of jets delivered is only slightly higher, the book value of total shipments leaped by 22% this year to $4.97 billion.
The listed value of orders - including general aviation aircraft - in the third quarter is also higher than in 2011, which yielded a $4.81 billion book value on 166 orders.
The recovery in book values gives the industry “good reason to feel optimistic about the future”, says GAMA chief executive Pete Bunce.
“Not all of the news is good,” Bunce cautions. “The industry still faces significant challenges, particularly in the small and midsize jet markets.”
Combined sales of entry-level and light jets – the industry’s most affordable offerings – continued a three-year downward slide in the third quarter.
Midsize jets also suffered in the third quarter, as the industry waits for new products in the segment to arrive. Both the Bombardier Learjet 85 and the Embraer Legacy 500 are expected to enter service next year.
Large cabin and long-range jets, meanwhile, increased deliveries in the third quarter, according to the GAMA data.
Gulfstream’s product line-up, particularly the newly arrived G650, performed strongly. The Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer delivered 38 aircraft in the third quarter, including 32 jets between the G650, G550 and G450. This compares with a total of 17 deliveries in the third quarter last year.
Although Gulfstream does not separate out the performance of individual models, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database lists deliveries of 13 G650s, eight G550s and 10 G550s during the period, with one aircraft unidentified.
However, handovers of the Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 were slightly down year-on-year, falling to 14 from 17 in 2012.