Data in the dumps
At the end of every quarter, the General Aviation Manufacturing Association collates delivery reports from the aircraft manufacturers and puts out a state of the industry release.
This used to be a unique source of information. The association would drill down into each aircraft type so that you could see exactly what types were being shipped. Whilst the report is definitely still useful, the granularity has changed. You can still see how many aircraft have been delivered, but several manufacturers have started aggregating aircraft types – or in some cases – grouping all of their deliveries together. One manufacturer now reports every six months, rather than at the end of each quarter.
It is difficult to understand why they do this. And it makes it harder to analyse trends in different business jet categories.
Overall, there was a 4.3% fall in business jet deliveries in the first six months of 2016. Long range aircraft suffered the biggest fall with 22.1% fewer aircraft being delivered to new owners. Very Light Jets saw the biggest uptick, with 22 deliveries compared to 12 aircraft delivered in the first half of 2015. The increase in Very Light Jet deliveries is all thanks to HondaJet. Without Honda there would have been a 7.54% drop.
We have all accepted that the heady days of 2008 where 1,300 deliveries were made are a thing of past. But if we are working off a new aircraft effect cycle then we are heading into trouble.
Traditionally there are more business jet deliveries in the second half of the year than there are in the first half. This year we will see the first Falcon 8X deliveries, but with Dassault revising its delivery guidance down from 60 aircraft to 50 aircraft, it is hard to see how the first half decline can be made up.
The next few years will see more new aircraft types seeing their initial deliveries, but we need to get more new entrants into business aviation. An industry reliant on the renewal cycle is not sustainable.