The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has presented the 2019 year end aircraft billing and shipment numbers during its annual state of the industry press conference.
In 2019, aircraft deliveries reached a value of $26.8 billion, an increase compared to $24.3 billion in 2018. The number of piston aircraft deliveries experienced the largest growth among the segments at 16.4 per cent and business jet deliveries were at their highest since 2009, while, turboprop and helicopter deliveries decreased.
“The 2019 year end numbers reveal that overall, the general aviation manufacturing industry is vibrant, although we are encountering headwinds in the rotorcraft sector. It is great to see two of our fixed wing sectors, piston aircraft and business jet shipments, reach decade highs. Looking ahead, manufacturers are excited about the future, especially given the ongoing innovation in manufacturing that directly relates to safety, and the progress being made in the development of supersonic and electrically propelled aircraft,” says president and CEO Pete Bunce. “GAMA and its member companies will support this momentum and technological advancement through our workforce, sustainability, regulatory and legislative efforts.”
The piston engine aircraft market in North America accounted for 66.4 per cent of overall shipments, while the second largest market for the fifth year in a row was Asia-Pacific at 12.8 per cent. Turboprop aircraft shipments to North American customers accounted for 50.3 per cent of global deliveries and the second largest market was Latin America at 16.8 per cent. The North American market accounted for 67.1 per cent of business jet deliveries, followed by Europe at 14.3 per cent.
The numbers show that Honda Aircraft Company delivered 36 HondaJets to customers globally, becoming the most delivered very light jet for the third consecutive year. There are currently around 150 aircraft worldwide. “We are pleased that customers across the globe continue to demonstrate a preference for us, as they are able to identify our best-in-class performance and the distinct innovation embodied by our product,” states president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “We are continuously improving our efficiency, overall performance and cabin comfort in order to be at the forefront of transformative technology that proves the value of very light jets for efficient travel to all types of users.” The company is currently in the process of constructing a new $15.5 million, 83,000 sq ft wing production facility, scheduled for completion in 2020, at its worldwide headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Embraer Executive Jets delivered 51 Phenom 300 and Phenom 300E light jets in 2019, making it the most delivered light jet of the year for the eighth consecutive year, at over 20 per cent more than the next competitor. “Today's delivery milestone only reinforces the success of this phenomenal aircraft platform, which recently received further performance, comfort and technology enhancements,” says president and CEO Michael Amalfitano.
In the mid-size market, Textron Aviation delivered 206 Citation business jets, nearly 60 more than the nearest competitor, with 13 deliveries of the super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude following its September 2019 certification. For the fourth consecutive year, the Citation Latitude was the most delivered midsize business jet at 58 aircraft. “We're committed to offering operators the best ownership experience in the industry,” says president and CEO Ron Draper. “Our employees are passionate about our customers and their aircraft, a dedication reflected in the innovation, quality and market leadership of our products and services.” The global Citation jet fleet recently surpassed 40 million flight hours, and more than 7,700 have been delivered to customers and operators worldwide. He adds: “Citation jets have redefined the general aviation industry and established aviation as a powerful business tool.”