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Global business plane deliveries fall in 2009

Feb. 16, 2010, Montreal - Global business aircraft deliveries plummeted by nearly 43 per cent and billings dropped by 21 per cent in 2009 amid the worst economy in decades, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said Tuesday.


February 16, 2010
By The Canadian Press

Manufacturers shipped 2,276 planes last year, compared to 3,967 in 2008 as all segments suffered declines.

Piston aircraft suffered the worst decline, falling 54.5 per cent, as 965 airplanes were delivered, compared with 2,110 a year earlier.

After five years of growth, the business jet sector declined 33.7 per cent, with 870 airplanes shipped, compared with 1,313 in 2008.

The turboprop sector was the most successful in weathering the economic storm. Shipments fell 17.6 per cent as 441 planes were delivered, down from 535 units in 2008.

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Manufacturers received US$19.5 billion, compared to US$24.8 billion in 2008.

Montreal-based Bombardier, the world's largest business airplane manufacturer, accounted for one quarter of the total, receiving US$4.9 billion in billings from the delivery of 173 aircraft.

It included 51 Global Express, 76 Challengers and 46 Learjets.

Rob Wilson, GAMA chairman and president of Honeywell Business and General Aviation, said the global economic slowdown led to one of the toughest years for aviation manufacturers.

Conditions including credit constraints, cutbacks in flying hours and downsizing of business jet fleets forced them to take painful steps last year.

"General aviation manufacturers had no choice but to cut production and announce painful layoffs and furloughs,'' he said at an annual industry review and outlook in Florida.

Wilson said there are signs the worst may be over.

Inventory of used aircraft has peaked and is declining, flying hours are rising and inquiries for new orders is beginning to grow.

Despite some signs of optimism, he said a full recovery will take time.

"Our manufacturers continue to plan and invest for future growth and we are confident that our industry will remain a powerful engine for economic recovery and quality job creation around the world.''

GAMA is an international trade association representing 65 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation aircraft, engines, avionics and related equipment.