GA Shipments Decline in 2008

To no one's surprise, GAMA announced that GA shipments were down in '08. Pistons led the charge, downward.

For the first time in five years general aviation airplane shipments declined with 3,969 airplanes delivered compared to 4,272 in 2007. Most of the drop occurred in the final quarter of the year, and the decline was limited to piston airplanes with both business jets and turboprops showing an increase.

Piston airplane deliveries at 2,119 units were down nearly 21 percent. But turboprops jumped about 17 percent with 535 airplanes delivered, and jets were up about 16 percent with 1,315 shipments. The total value of all airplanes delivered by members of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) climbed 13.4 percent to $24.8 billion.

The increases in the number of turbine airplanes delivered, and growth in their total value, reflects a record pace for the first three quarters of the year. However, new orders have slowed to a crawl for all kinds of airplanes, and deferred or delayed deliveries of some previously ordered jets and turboprops has been occurring. All signs point to a substantial drop in the number of airplanes delivered and their value for 2009.