The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the industry’s third quarter shipment and billings figures today. In the first three quarters of 2009, total general aviation (GA) airplane shipments fell 46.8 percent, from 2,982 units in 2008 to 1,587 units so far this year. Total industry billings are down 23.5 percent, to $13.8 billion.
“These shipment and billings figures are a result of this difficult business cycle and reflects the impact of the weak economy,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. "However, another contributing factor that has led to the disappointing year-to-date numbers is the unwarranted negative attacks on business aviation. “
A recently released study shows the powerful connection between well-run companies and those that use business aviation. For example, Business Week magazine’s 2009 “25 Best Customer Service Companies” and the Corporate Responsibility Officer’s list of 2009 “100 Best Corporate Citizens,” both show that 90 percent of the identified S&P 500 companies are business aircraft users. Bunce added, "When America´s most responsible and best-run companies use business aviation to create jobs and shareholder value, attacks on this segment of general aviation are unwarranted. We are now seeing some encouraging signs that policymakers all around the U.S. are recognizing the vital contribution our industry makes to the economy."
Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 679 units compared to 1,646 units delivered in the first three quarters of 2008, a 58.7 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments decreased 15.8 percent from 348 units in the first nine months last year to 293 units during this same period in 2009. Business jet shipments totaled 615 units, a 37.8 percent decline over the 988 units delivered through the third quarter in 2008.