General, business aviation aircraft deliveries begin to surpass pre-pandemic levels: GAMA Q3 report

By Dayna Fedy-MacDonald | November 17, 2022

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 4 seconds.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has released its Q3 2022 Aircraft Shipment and Billing Report, and the data show an increase in deliveries across all segments in the first nine months of 2022, compared to the same period of 2021.

Not only is the industry continuing to see an increase in aircraft deliveries, in some cases the numbers are surpassing “the levels we were experiencing prior to the pandemic, which is a testament to the strength of our industry and the importance and utility of general and business aviation,” said GAMA president and CEO, Pete Bunce.

In the third quarter of 2022, piston airplanes saw the greatest increase in deliveries over Q3 2021, with 1,012 units shipped. This translates to an increase of 8.8 percent. Turboprop aircraft shipments increased 7.3 percent with 383 units, and business jet shipments increased 1.8 percent with 446 units. The total value of aircraft deliveries in the first nine months of the year was $14.1 billion, which is a 4.8 percent increase over 2021.

Cirrus has delivered 366 aircraft in the first nine months of 2022. Of that total, 154 were the Cirrus SR22T. Cirrus Aircraft Photo

Among all the general and business aviation airframe manufacturers, Cirrus Aircraft made the most deliveries in the third quarter, with a total of 155 units. That brings Cirrus’s year-to-date shipments to 366, translating to $439 million in revenue. According to GAMA’s report, the OEM’s most popular aircraft — based on shipment numbers — appears to be the SR22T.

Textron’s deliveries in the third quarter weren’t far behind, at 150 aircraft shipments. With 401 deliveries year-to-date, the manufacturer has collected over $2 billion in revenue. The Cessna 172 Skyhawk remains Textron’s most popular aircraft, as 56 of the type were delivered in Q3 and 118 delivered year-to-date.

Bombardier has so far had a successful year, too, with 74 aircraft deliveries (25 of which took place in Q3), collecting over $3 billion in revenue. The Montreal-based OEM is expected to have an impressive fourth quarter.

While OEM backlogs are higher than ever, the numbers should decrease by the end of this year, as the fourth quarter is a “big delivery quarter,” said JETNET iQ’s Rolland Vincent during a mid-October briefing.

GAMA Image

Nonetheless, backlogs will still remain extremely robust, and ongoing challenges with supply chains and workforce shortages continue to contribute to longer lead times for aircraft. This could begin to curb demand for new aircraft, as some customers are not going to want to “wait two-and-a-half years for an airplane,” said Vincent.

GAMA CEO Bunce noted that the workforce shortage applies to aviation businesses, as well as global regulatory authorities.

“As we look to the future, we must focus attention on the need for training the regulator workforce,” he said.

Bunce noted that leveraging bi-lateral safety agreements between regulatory bodies would “improve both certification and validation processes.”

Aside from focusing on labor challenges, Bunce said the industry must continue to press forward on addressing environmental issues in order to meet the business aviation industry’s commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Key environmental initiatives include “advancing technology that improves efficiencies of aircraft and operations; supporting the production, distribution, and uptake of SAF; and further developing hydrogen, electric, and hybrid propulsion.”

See GAMA’s complete 2022 third quarter report here.

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