The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), which represents more than 50 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation aircraft, engines, avionics and related equipment, said Friday that shipment and billing figures for the first half of the year set new records.
In the first half of 2006, shipments of general aviation airplanes totaled 1,843 units, a 19.1 percent increase over the same period last year, with industry billings rising 34.9 percent to $8.8 billion.
“This is the highest recorded billings for the first half of a year in general aviation’s history,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA’s President and CEO. “With our manufacturers' current backlog, we are confident that this trend will continue throughout the remainder of 2006."
GAMA said the upward trend in industry shipments was seen in all aircraft segments, with shipments of piston-powered airplanes up 17.4 percent from the same period last year, turboprop shipments rising 12.1 percent, and the business jet market surging 27.7 percent.
"We are very encouraged by this continued positive trend, but we are closely monitoring the potential impact that rising fuel prices and interest rates may have on our dynamic worldwide industry," Bunce said.
Mary Anne Sudol, an analyst at Caris & Co., said Monday that the current business jet outlook, combined with expected 2006 commercial aircraft shipments from Boeing and Airbus, puts "substantial and visible support under the financial prospects of major suppliers," including Rockwell Collins and Honeywell.
She noted that the premier business jet manufacturers, General Dynamic's Gulfsteam, says its order books is essentially full through 2008, while Boeing's 2007 production is now 99 percent sold out.
FIRST SIX MONTHS SHIPMENTS OF AIRPLANES