GAMA Numbers Reflect Dismal First Half of 2009

Total general aviation aircraft shipments for the first half of the year were off by 46% compared with last year. The recent report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) also showed billings down by almost 23%, an indication that the largest drops in deliveries were in the lower-priced segments. Indeed, piston aircraft shipments fell by 58% to 434 aircraft in 2009 from 1,034 deliveries in the first half of 2008. Turboprops were down by 14% and jets dropped 36%-to 412 deliveries from 663 in the first six months of 2008. Nevertheless, GAMA president Pete Bunce expressed optimism that current indicators show the decline has stabilized and there are signs of recovery. He cited reduced inventories of used aircraft on the market, an apparent bottoming out of the decline in flight hours, and individual manufacturers' indications that they are seeing renewed interest in aircraft purchases from customers. As Wall Street continues its steady upward climb, GAMA is hopeful the optimism will translate to renewed interest in general aviation aircraft.