Business aircraft manufacturers report slumping shipments
November 15, 2016
The global business jet manufacturing industry has recorded lower shipments in the first three quarters of 2016 compared to the previous year. In a news article published at the FlightGlobal website on 14 November 2016, Kate Sarsfield reports: “Worldwide shipments of fixed-wing business and general aviation aircraft fell across all segments during the first nine months of 2016.” The dipping trends in the sales volumes of business aircraft has been attributed to unstable economic and political conditions in the global market.
The market decline has affected all of the major engine categories of business aircraft. Sarsfield cites data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) showing that “deliveries of piston-engined turboprop and jet-engined business aircraft dropped by 3.5% to 1,504 units between January and the end of September – representing a 14.5% fall in the total shipment value to $13.4 billion.”
The GAMA report is indicative of the market-wide currents that have been pushing business aircraft manufacturing to the edge. This is because the year-on-year dip of shipments over the last nine months is significantly low compared to 2015. Sarsfield reports that GAMA “recorded 429 business jet deliveries in the nine months ending 30 September 2016 – 36 fewer than in the same period a year earlier.” If this devastating trend stretches through to the end of the year, then business jet manufacturers will have all the more reasons to worry about its impact to their annual financial performance in 2016.
Bombardier Aerospace and Gulfstream are among the aircraft manufacturing companies that have been affected by declining sales. Bombardier shipped only 109 units of its Learjet, Challenger and Global brands as of September 2016 — 26 fewer units compared to the same time frame ending September 2015, according to Sarsfield. Gulfstream, on the other hand, shipped only 88 units, representing a dip of 28 units compared to September 2015.