Worldwide shipments for fixed-wing business and general aviation aircraft fell by 3.5% during the first nine months of 2016, triggered by the continued slump in demand for new and used models across the sector.
Deliveries for the nine months ended 30 September totalled 1,504 units with a combined value of $13.4bn, according to a 10 November report issued by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). This compares with 1,588 aircraft that were shipped during the same period last year, with a total value of $15.7bn.
“There’s no way to sugar-coat the fact that these numbers are not what we had wanted to see,” says Pete Bunce, president and chief executive of the US-headquartered trade body. “Unfortunately, they reflect the instability of the used aircraft market coupled with complicating global economic and geopolitical factors.”
Business jet manufacturers shipped 465 aircraft in during the nine-month period – a 36-unit fall year-on-year, GAMA reveals. Piston aircraft deliveries slid during the same period by 3.2% to 696 units.
The turboprop sector generated what GAMA describes a “bright spot” for the fixed-wing aircraft market during the period, with deliveries climbing, albeit by only five units, to 379 units.
Rotorcraft shipments, meanwhile, plummeted to 615 units, with overall value of $2.5bn. This compares with 732 deliveries with a value $3.4bn recorded during the first nine months of 2015.
“What is encouraging is that every GAMA airplane and rotorcraft manufacturer has a new product development programme recently completed or currently under way, so optimism for the future runs high,” says Bunce.
He says the industry is looking forward to working with the incoming Trump administration, the new US Congress, and other governments across the globe “to highlight the importance of a vibrant general and business aviation industry with manufacturing, maintenance and overhaul jobs at its core”.