Business jet growth continues to climb

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Growth in non-US markets is expected to drive business jet deliveries to 1,320 yearly between 2008 and 2017, compared with the industry average of 620 yearly in the 1998-2007 period, according to the latest forecast by Bombardier.

That market, worth $300 billion over the decade, does not include very light jets such as the Beechcraft Premier I, the Cessna Citation Mustang, CJ1+, CJ2+, Eclipse and Embraer Phenom 100.

Bombardier vice-president strategy and business development Mairead Lavery says deliveries should rise steadily from nearly 1,000 this year to almost 1,500 in 2017, although orders are expected to drop from just under 1,800 last year to fewer than 1,000 next year before beginning to climb again.

 © Bombardier

Last year's orders surge came as a surprise, she says, and led Bombardier to dramatically boost its deliveries forecast from the 995 a year from 2007-16 it was expecting a year ago. These expectations stand despite a possible US economic downturn, she says. Key factors underpinning Bombardier's optimism include the fact that about 20 major new aircraft programmes are set to bear fruit in the next decade, and markets outside North America have grown to represent more than half of world business jet deliveries and 67% of orders in 2007.

International markets will continue growing, says Lavery. In addition, she adds, industry backlogs represent 29 months' production and the market for secondhand aircraft is healthy. Commenting on US economic worries, president and chief operating officer Pierre Beaudoin says: "As far as aviation is concerned we have not seen an impact. We see growth."