Pete Bunce said, “While the year started off strong, the health and safety restrictions put in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic began to significantly impact global operations, supply chains and deliveries towards the end of the first quarter.” Bunce’s remarks were part of the General Aviation Manufacturing Association’s report of first-quarter aircraft shipments—Bunce serves as CEO of GAMA. “Many companies then supplemented ongoing activities with the production and transport of health-care materials needed by front-line health care workers and communities across the globe,” actions Bunce said serve as a testament to the adaptability and resilience of the industry’s workforce.
During the quarter that ended March 31, piston airplane deliveries declined 11.7 percent, with 219 airframes; turboprop airplane deliveries dropped a whopping 41.8 percent, with 71 airframes; and business jet deliveries declined 19.1 percent, with 114 airframes when compared to the same time period in 2019. On the rotorcraft side, turbine helicopter deliveries declined 18.3 percent with 85 airframes, while piston helicopter deliveries declined 43.9 percent sending just 37 machines out the door. Of the 404 total delivers in the first quarter, the majority–294–went to North America, 98 to Europe and nine to South America. Second quarter delivery numbers that should appear in late August are expected to reflect the full force of the COVID-19 virus on the industry.
A quick glance at some of the manufacturers showed Textron Aviation delivered 48 Cessna 172s, six Beechcraft King Air 250s and seven Cessna Citation Latitudes, while Robinson Helicopters shipped 50 airframes, including 15 R66s, 14 R44 Raven IIs, 10 R44 Raven Is, six R44 cadets and five R22 Beta IIs. Piper shipped 25 aircraft, the vast majority being Archer IIs. Pilatus shipped 11 PC-12s and seven PC-24s, while Icon Aircraft shipped six airframes and Honda Aircraft delivered seven HondaJets. Cirrus Aircraft delivered 85 aircraft in the first quarter, eight SR-20s, 20 SR-22s, 39 SR-22Ts and 18 VisionJets. Embraer shipped nine aircraft and Gulfstream delivered 23. More specific details of all delivers is available at GAMA.