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GAMA: Business Jet, Piston Shipments Remain Strong in First Quarter of 2014

May 8, 2014

Recently released General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) data for the first quarter of 2014, show that business jet shipments were up 19.4 percent over the same period last year, as airframe makers delivered 154 new jets.

Piston airplane shipments jumped 21.4 percent, with 221 airplanes (202 singles and 19 multiengine aircraft) delivered in the first quarter. This positive showing still falls short of the piston peak in 2006, when manufacturers shipped 600 aircraft in the first quarter.

Turboprop numbers are still depressed, with 125 aircraft (90 singles and 22 multiengine airplanes) shipped in the first quarter, an 8.1-percent decrease from the same period last year. Overall, total worldwide general aviation airplane shipments increased 11.9 percent in the first three months of this year, as 500 aircraft were shipped. Billings for these aircraft totaled $5.1 billion, a 9-percent increase.

U.S. manufacturers produced the majority of these aircraft. They shipped 345 aircraft: 144 pistons (134 singles and 10 multiengine aircraft), 112 turboprops (90 singles and 22 multiengine), and 89 business jets.

The first-quarter numbers for newly formed Textron Aviation were broken out by manufacturer. Cessna Aircraft shipped 93 airplanes (34 pistons, 24 turboprop singles and 35 jets). Beechcraft shipped 31 airplanes (six piston singles, three multiengine pistons, and the rest multiengine turboprops). The combined billing for Cessna and Beechcraft was more than $584 million.

Bombardier delivered 43 jets (six Learjets, 20 Challengers, and 17 Globals). Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. shipped 39 aircraft, 33 of them 450/550/650s. The Savannah, GA-based company led all GAMA member manufacturers in total billings ($2 billion). Piper Aircraft shipped 34 aircraft (21 piston singles, seven piston multiengine airplanes and six turboprop singles). Two manufacturers delivered 60 piston aircraft each: Cirrus Aircraft and Diamond Aircraft.

“The GA manufacturing industry’s first-quarter numbers in 2014, especially the strong showing in the piston segment, are encouraging and show that we continue to climb our way out of the recession,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in a press release issued with the industry data. “But we remain a long way from being out of the woods as shown by the mixed performance among sectors.”

Read GAMA’s full report.