The latest report on general aviation aircraft shipments and billings from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), shows a decline in deliveries during the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period of 2019. This affected all segments.
Through the first six months of 2020, there were 244 business jet deliveries, a decline of 26.7% compared with the same period in 2019. Piston aircraft deliveries were down by 13.3% (497 were delivered) and turboprops declined by 34.2% (152 units). The value of aircraft deliveries through the second quarter of 2020 was US$7.9bn, a decline of approximately 20.2%. For the same period, there were 188 turbine helicopter deliveries, down 37.1%, and 63 piston helicopter deliveries, down 45.2%.
“It should come as no surprise to anyone that the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the general aviation industry and its global operations in the second quarter,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO at GAMA. “During those months, while the global aerospace supply chain was significantly degraded and national, state and local pandemic restrictions changed routinely on both sides of the Atlantic, many companies supplemented their activities to support the healthcare response with the manufacture and distribution of personal protective equipment.”
“With facilities conducting operations in a ‘new normal’ work environment, what has been very encouraging is that the supply chain has begun to stabilise and robust screening procedures and innovative workstation COVID-19 mitigation protocols have resulted in very few virus transmission incidents,” he elaborated. “While continued mandated and voluntary restrictions on international business travel are producing stiff headwinds, flight activity for business aviation has appeared to return to around 85% of pre-pandemic levels in US domestic airspace, while piston, turboprop and rotorcraft flight activity has actually increased. Many travellers have also opted to explore the utility of general and business aviation for the first time, which we hope will translate into future customers for the incredible and versatile products and services our industry has to offer.”