Signs of Life

While it’s too early to celebrate and analysts caution that the economy is still shaky, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association released one of its strongest reports since the effects of the downturn eroded the business and general aviation markets.  Through the first six months, business jet shipments were up double digits (13.1%).  Turboprop shipments were up double digits (10.5%).  And billings were up double digits (13.2%).

In fact, the only sign of weakness in the macro numbers comes from the piston market, which was down just slightly (1.6%).  That, however, can be largely attributable to a significant drop in deliveries of Cessna’s Skycatcher light-sport aircraft – which fell from 61 units in the first half of 2011 to just 12 in the first six months of this year.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce says that when coupled with used aircraft trends, “We may finally be witnessing the start of our recovery.”  This was especially true in North America.

But the emphasis has to be on “may” since the market is still volatile, particularly in Europe.  And Asia, which propped up the large jet business last year in particular, softened this year.

And while the numbers are improved, they are still from a much lower threshold.  Morgan Stanley’s Heidi Wood believes 2012 deliveries at Cessna and Gulfstream will be roughly 40% and 75%, respectively, of their peak in 2008.

Please or Register to post comments.

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Oct 8, 2015

The Case Of The Missing F-117 Parts (2001) 16

How AW&ST found out what had happened to the remains of a shot-down F-117....More
Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 7

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal. Less remembered is his controversial offer two years later to cooperate with the Soviet Union on a manned lunar landing....More
Sep 10, 2015

Airbus A380 Is Your Hotel In The Sky (2001) 5

In a September 2001 advertisement, Airbus promised to bring glamour back to passenger travel with its new A380, comparing the double-decker airliner to a hotel....More
Sep 9, 2015

Pratt & Whitney's Record Behind the DC-6 Record (1947) 2

Pratt & Whitney takes to the cover of AVIATION to credit its Double Wasp engines for the DC-6's record transatlantic flight....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×