Very Light Jets prop up 2017 business-jet deliveries

Alud Davies

Deliveries of business jets were up by 1.3% in 2017, thanks largely to increased deliveries of very light jets.

Data reported by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows that a total of 676 business jet were delivered in 2017, nine more than in 2016.

Across all business-jet categories, it was the Very Light Jet (VLJ) sector that saw the biggest rise in deliveries, jumping up by just over 75%. All other categories showed small declines.

“The 2017 year-end results were encouraging, especially with the delivery growth we saw in the business-jet, piston airplane and rotorcraft segments,” said Pete Bunce, president & CEO, GAMA. “Looking ahead, we’re optimistic given some very positive economic indicators, stabilization in the used business aircraft market, new manufacturing techniques spurred by additive manufacturing, and innovative aerospace technologies driving urban air mobility platforms, electric and hybrid propulsion, unmanned aerial vehicles and commercial space.”

Deliveries in the VLJ sector were bolstered by two aircraft types that began their initial delivery pushes in recent years.

Of these it was the Ciruss’s SF50 that made the biggest impact on delivery numbers in 2017. Having delivered three aircraft right at the end of 2016, Cirrus continued delivering the initial batch of aircraft to customers in 2017, ending the year with a total of 22 deliveries.

So far, all the SF50s have been delivered to customers in the US. One aircraft is registered in Guernsey as 2-AUER, but remains based in the US.

The HondaJet also continued to deliver in high numbers. Although deliveries began right at the end of 2015, deliveries in 2017 were almost double the number in 2016. The highlight of the new deliveries was that of the first HondaJet to a customer in Thailand.

Deliveries of Very Light Jets help prop up deliveries in other categories, which largely fell when compared to the previous year.

Deliveries of light jets fell by 8.3%, with Super Midsize deliveries dropping by 7.89%.

Bombardier deliveries fell by 14% with fewer shipments of Challenger 350 and LearJet 70/75 aircraft.

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