General Aviation shipments continue to decline

In the first half of 2009, total general aviation airplane shipments fell 45.9 percent, from 1,918 units in 2008 to 1,037 units this year. Industry billings are down 22.7 percent, to a total of $9.26 billion, GAMA said today.

Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 434 units compared to 1,034 units delivered in the first half of 2008, a 58 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments decreased 13.6 percent from 221 units in the first six months last year to 191 units in 2009. Business jet shipments totaled 412 units, a 37.9 percent decrease over the 663 units delivered during this same period in 2008.

"These are extremely challenging times for all general aviation manufacturers and suppliers. Layoffs continue and our industry has been forced to slow, and in some cases, temporarily halt production lines,” said GAMA President and CEO, Pete Bunce.  “We are encouraged that the overall economic picture is showing some signs of improvement, which is a crucial condition for recovery in the general aviation market.  Flight hours are stabilizing, used inventories are beginning to shrink, and our manufacturers are seeing signs of renewed interest in airplane purchases.  We are also encouraged by reports that accelerated depreciation, passed by Congress earlier this year, is stimulating some new orders.  Even though it is too early to distinguish these indications as a trend, we are hopeful that this momentum will continue through the second half of the year.”

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