The latest data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reveals that general aviation aircraft deliveries totalled US$22.8bn (€18.9bn) in 2020, a decrease from the US$27.3bn (€22.6bn) reported for 2019. While the number of turboprops, business jets and helicopters delivered in 2020 were down on 2019, piston airplane deliveries were steady.
“As expected, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted general aviation and stifled the industry’s growth,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO at GAMA. “While we continue to face headwinds globally, all signs point to strong demand for our products and services that are unfortunately being constrained by pandemic-induced supply chain limitations and a vast array of disjointed barriers to air travel across national borders. As we progress through the recovery process, our member companies have made the health and safety of their employees and that of their suppliers an overarching priority, and rigorously support economic policies that preserve our skilled aerospace workforce.”
“It is encouraging to see that segments of our industry saw a solid rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020,” Bunce continued. “In 2021, it will be important for the general aviation industry to work together with our commercial sector colleagues to keep our interlinked but very fragile supply chain secure, while continuing to engage global regulatory authorities to leverage their mutually recognised safety competencies to keep pace with accelerating technological innovations that improve aviation safety and environmental sustainability and facilitate industry recovery.”
In 2020, 644 business jets were delivered, a 20.4% decline from 2019’s 809. Piston airplane deliveries declined a relatively modest 0.9% to 1,312 units, and turboprop deliveries declined 15.6% to 443 units.
The value of 2020’s airplane deliveries came to US$20bn (€16.6bn), a decline of approximately 14.8% on 2019’s US$23.5bn (€19.5bn). Overall, 2,399 airplanes were delivered, down 9.7% on the 2,658 delivered in 2019.
Preliminary figures for civil-commercial turbine helicopter deliveries show a decline of approximately 16.9% compared with 2019, with 532 units delivered in 2020; while piston helicopter deliveries declined by 20.7%, with 142 units delivered in 2020.
The North American market accounted for 66% of business jet deliveries, while the second largest market was Europe at 16.7%.
North America also accounted for 67.9% of piston-engine airplane shipments, while the second-largest market for piston airplanes, for the sixth year in a row, was Asia-Pacific, at 17.4%.
In terms of turboprop shipments, North America accounted for 54.9%, with Europe the second largest market at 14.4%.