The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its 2021 General Aviation Aircraft Shipments and Billings Report during its annual State of the Industry press conference. All aircraft segments saw year-on-year increases in shipments and preliminary aircraft deliveries were valued at $25.2 billion, an increase of 10.2 per cent. Leonardo Helicopters fourth quarter data was not available at the time of publication.
“The strength and tenacity of the general aviation industry have provided a strong foundation for the industry to rebound from pandemic-related setbacks with a powerful showing in 2021," says president and CEO Pete Bunce. "Total aircraft shipments are converging on figures that were seen before the outset of the pandemic. The industry has been able to weather the storm by strategically managing workforce and supply chain challenges, which unfortunately are still ongoing. Despite this adversity, there is robust interest and excitement in our industry as we continue to further our advancements in innovation, technology and environmental sustainability.”
Aircraft shipments in 2021, when compared to 2020, saw piston deliveries increase 5.5 per cent with 1,393 units; turboprop deliveries increase 19 per cent with 527 units; and business jet deliveries increase 10.2 per cent with 710 units. The preliminary value of aircraft deliveries for 2021 was $21.6 billion, an increase of approximately 7.6 per cent.
Piston helicopter deliveries for 2021 increased 27.5 per cent year-on-year with 181 units; and preliminary civil-commercial turbine helicopter deliveries increased 24.8 per cent with 645 units. The preliminary value of helicopter deliveries for 2021 was $3.7 billion, an increase of approximately 28 per cent.
The piston engine aircraft market in North America accounted for 68.7 per cent of overall shipments, with the second largest market for the seventh year in a row being Asia Pacific at 14.4 per cent. Turboprop aircraft shipments to North American customers accounted for 52.6 per cent of the global deliveries, followed by the Latin American market at 15.7 per cent. The North American market accounted for 65.9 per cent of business jet deliveries with Europe at 18 per cent.
The International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) is heartened to see an increase in new turbine aircraft entering the marketplace, and with the prospects for even greater new aircraft manufacturing activity in the coming years from GAMA companies and IADA OEM members.
“Many of IADA's accredited preowned aircraft dealers embrace this influx of new business aircraft into the marketplace, which can begin to address the historically low inventory of newer and well-equipped business jets and turboprops,” says chairman David Monacell, a partner at CFS Jets in Cornelius, North Carolina.
“This dearth of good business jets for sale can eventually be addressed by additional new aircraft entering the marketplace, which can have the effect of bringing supply more in line with demand, while normalising aircraft values for our industry's customers. Obviously, we anticipate that the OEMs will only increase production rates when business conditions align appropriately for the future."
IADA members recorded 1,372 business aircraft transactions in 2021, considerably over the 700 average annual transactions, while the available inventory of preowned aircraft for sale has plummeted to historic lows.