GAMA Shipments Show Small Third Quarter Gain

According to the latest report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, increases in shipments of jets (up 30.1 percent) and turboprops (up 13.7 percent) put 2008 figures for the first three quarters up by 2 percent compared with the same nine-month period last year. The gains in sales of turbine-powered aircraft offset a drop of 11.4 percent in deliveries of piston aircraft so far this year. The GAMA numbers included 2,977 aircraft shipped for total revenues of $18.2 billion compared with 2,918 valued at $15.1 billion last year. Piston aircraft manufacturers shipped 1,646 airplanes in the first nine months of this year, compared with 1,857 units last year. GAMA President Pete Bunce said, "Reacting to the lead and lag nature of this economic slowdown, several companies have announced layoffs and are working very aggressively to retain order and encourage new ones. Even as the price of fuel has declined from the debilitating high levels we saw this past summer, the uncertainty of financial markets worldwide is negatively impacting the entire aviation industry."

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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