- 02 Mar 2023
- Brian Foley
- BizAv Market Insight
Given the recent boom in the Business Aviation market, why were there only two more new business jets delivered in 2022 than in 2021? Brian Foley explores the reasons the numbers were so flat...Back to Articles
The popularity of Business Aviation went off the charts during, and among the years following COVID as first-time private aviation users flooded the industry to avoid airport crowds and reduced airline schedules.
Every corner of the BizAv segment soared, including charter and fractional ownership. FBOs couldn’t pump gas quickly enough, while MRO shops had nowhere to park their backlog of customers. Pre-owned aircraft sales ‘knocked it out of the park’ with all-time high transactions, while service providers in the lending, legal and consulting spheres enjoyed banner years.
With the newfound interest in private aviation and a lack of pre-owned aircraft to choose from, the focus soon shifted to the new business jet manufacturers, whose book-to-bill ratios hit highs of 2:1 or more. These settled slightly to still healthy levels above 1:1. As a result, the backlogs of these OEMs have risen commensurately, fueling years of future production.
With this popularity, delivery times have increased, typically to 2025 and well beyond in some cases – a demonstration that demand has far exceeded supply.
With this background, it may have surprised some when the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its 2022 General Aviation Aircraft Shipment and Billing Report that only two more new business jets were delivered in 2022 than in 2021. That’s a paltry 0.3% increase in a segment that’s been going ‘gangbusters’.
In comparison, Piston airplane deliveries, presumably juiced by the lucrative training sector because of current pilot shortages, increased 8.2%, while the venerable Turboprop sector saw an impressive double-digit increase (10.4%).
Why then the feeble two-unit increase in the ever-popular business jet market? It’s fair to call this an ‘ill-timed perfect storm’ that struck throughout the industry.
While more of a small, niche player, HondaJet shocked the industry by delivering 54% fewer jets in 2022 than in 2021, falling from 37 to just 17 units. The company attributes the drop to supply chain issues and ramping up of its Elite II model enhancement, though a public tiff with its largest customer may also have contributed to the shortfall.
Another smaller player, Pilatus Aircraft, saw its PC-24 jet deliveries fall by five units due to headwinds from the Ukraine war and lingering supply chain interruptions, according to the company.
Embraer and Textron (Cessna) each did their part to exceed their 2021 results, delivering 10% and 7% more business jets in 2022, which just wasn’t enough to offset the flat or declining shipments from the other manufacturers.
Thus, 2022 racked up a very unimpressive 0.3% gain in jet shipments despite a roaring market.
What are the prospects for a better year of new business jet shipments this year? Discover what size increase Brian Foley is predicting in the AvBuyer April digital edition, and read the rest of this month’s Business Aviation Market Overview by clicking on the button below…