GAMA: Business Jet Sales Soared in 2014

Sales rise to near-record levels.

GAMA Numbers Bizjets

GAMA Numbers Bizjets

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association yesterday released worldwide 2014 year-end aircraft sales and delivery numbers, and not only are the figures encouraging for the future health of the industry, they very nearly shattered records.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce reported that, for the year, total worldwide general aviation airplane shipments rose 4.3 percent, from 2,353 aircraft in 2013 to 2,454 in 2014. Billings for GA airplanes worldwide increased to $24.5 billion, up 4.5 percent from $23.4 billion in 2013. The sales increases among fixed-wing aircraft marked the second-largest sales value recorded after 2008, when billings hit $24.8 billion.

Shipments of piston airplanes were a bright spot in the report, rising 9.6 percent in 2014, although sales were still well off their pace of five years ago before the economic downturn. Turboprop deliveries, meanwhile, declined, by 6.5 percent to 603 units. The same was true for helicopter shipments, which slowed by an even larger drop for both piston and turbine models compared with the previous year.

"The mixed results among segments indicate that the general aviation manufacturing industry is still facing headwinds given the tepid U.S. economic recovery and the political and economic uncertainties in Europe," Bunce said.

In all, piston airplane makers delivered 1,129 aircraft in 2014. That compares with 2,119 piston airplanes shipped in 2008. Total worldwide business jet deliveries were also well off their peak, although the 722 business jets delivered last year tended to be larger, pricier models that drove up revenue figures.

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