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The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) recently released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings through the second quarter of 2020 (June 30). Piston, turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries declined across all segments during the first six months of 2020 as compared to the same period of 2019.
“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. 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 health care 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 stabilize and robust screening procedures and innovative work station COVID-19 mitigation protocols have resulted in very few virus transmission incidents,” said GAMA president and chief executive officer, Pete Bunce. “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 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in U.S. 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.”
Aircraft shipments through the first six months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, saw piston airplane deliveries decline 13.3 per cent, with 497 units; turboprop airplane deliveries decline 34.2 per cent, with 152 units; and business jet deliveries decline 26.7 per cent, with 244 units. The value of airplane deliveries through the second quarter of 2020 was $7.9 billion, a decline of approximately 20.2 per cent.
Turbine helicopter deliveries for the first six months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, saw a decline of 37.1 per cent, with 188 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw a decline of 45.2 per cent, with 63 units.