For most on-demand air charter carriers and charter brokers in North America, revenues are down nearly 25 percent over last year for the second quarter of 2008. Aviation analysts partly blame high fuel costs, the mortgage industry crisis, a sluggish economy and uncertainly over who´ll become the next president of the United States. However, it´s predicted that the situation will get better after January 2009. Meanwhile, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association on Thursday announced good news--an all-time high for shipments and billings for general aviation aircraft for the first half of 2008.
Industry billings for the first half of 2008 totaled $ 12.1 billion, a 24.1-percent increase. Although the news is promising, piston-powered aircraft shipments have taken it in shorts; 1,034 units were delivered in the second half of 2008 compared to 1,226 units delivered during the second half in 2007, a 15.7-percent decrease. Business jet shipments totaled 663 units in the first half of 2008, a 39.3-percent increase over the 476 units delivered in the second quarter of 2007. Turboprop shipments increased by 36 units--222 in the second half of 2008 from 186 in 2007.
"Expanding worldwide markets are having a very positive affect on the turbine segments of our industry," said Pete Bunce, president of and CEO of GAMA.
Bunce said that despite uncertainty with fuel prices and strength of the North American economy, the energy surrounding the entire spectrum of GA remains robust. "Our piston manufacturers continue to generate excitement through new product introductions that incorporate innovative technologies," he said. He added that piston plane makers are paying increased attention to growth opportunities in the international market.