Private Jet Deliveries Plunged 20% During Pandemic
Business jet delivers tumbled in 2020 as the pandemic stressed corporations and shut down the global economy.
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported Wednesday that general aviation fixed-wing shipments and billings plunged across the board in 2020.
GAMA said manufacturers delivered 644 business jets, compared with 809 a year earlier. Many business-jet manufacturers saw steep declines in 2020 – Bombardier was down 28 planes, Gulfstream (-20), Dassault (-6), Embraer (-23), Textron Aviation (-74), and Honda Aircraft (-1).
Demand for turboprops also fell, down 15.6% from 525 in 2019, to 443 last year.
As flight restrictions worldwide slowed travel for commercial and private aircraft, small piston plane deliveries saw the least of the declines, down just 12 units, to 1,312. Textron Aviation’s Skyhawk bucked the trend last year, nearly doubling deliveries from 126 in 2019 to 241 last year.
Piston helicopter shipments plunged 20.7% to 142 units, while turbine helios shipments were down 16.9% to 532 units.
Robinson R44 Raven (piston helicopter)
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said the virus pandemic „negatively impacted general aviation and stifled the industry’s growth.“
Looking ahead, Bunce said, „It will be important for the general aviation industry to work together with our commercial sector colleagues to keep our interlinked but very fragile supply chain secure, while continuing to engage global regulatory authorities to leverage their mutually recognized safety competencies to keep pace with accelerating technological innovations that improve aviation safety and environmental sustainability and facilitate industry recovery.“
While demand for new private jets and other aircraft types slumped in 2020, used private jet sales in the second half of last year soared.