New Airplane Shipments Trends in Q3 2022 - Analysis

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) report on business aircraft shipments for Q3 2022 contained good news.

Mike Potts  |  09th December 2022
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Mike Potts
Mike Potts

Mike Potts is a writer and consultant who has been involved in aviation for four decades. Today, he...

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Gulfstream G700 private jet in flight over water


Aircraft deliveries grew 6.7% Year- to-Date (YTD) with a total of 1,841 units versus 1,725 in 2021. Billings were up 4.8% with a total of $14.1bn YTD – a $600m increase over $13.5bn in 2021. Mike Potts explores the numbers.

Every segment of the business is up compared to last year. Piston deliveries led with 1,012 units YTD, up 8.8% from 930 units last year. Although piston sales represent only a tiny fraction of the total business aircraft market, strong performance in this segment traditionally heralds continuing good news in the other segments.

Turboprop deliveries were 7.3% ahead of last year, with GAMA reporting 383 turboprop deliveries in the first nine months of 2022, up from 357 last year. The business jet market finished Q3 2022 with 446 deliveries, an increase of eight units over the 438 recorded in 2021.

Based on historic market performance, I predict we will finish the year with a total jet market in the 725- to 750-unit range, which would be the best year for jet deliveries since 2019 when 809 units were shipped, and the second-best year since 2010 (763 units).

Business Jet Market Specifics

Looking at the specifics of the jet market we see that, based on the first nine months of this year, the 10 jet OEMs reporting to GAMA had mixed results. Four of the companies had better numbers than 2021, YTD. Two are on par with last year’s performance, and four are trailing their 2021 results.

Looking at just Q3, the picture is a little different: with just two companies ahead Q3 2021, two even, and five running behind. Dassault does not report in Q1 or Q3.

Whether ahead or behind, none of the companies experienced wildly differing results from their prior year’s performance, which could indicate a market poised to make a strong recovery, perhaps as early as 2023.

Leading the business jet pack is Textron Cessna with 126 units, up from 121 in 2021. Cessna did not have a particularly strong Q3, with 39 deliveries lagging the 49 it made in Q3 2021.

Gulfstream came second with 82 deliveries YTD, its performance well off Cessna’s pace but a little ahead of its own 2021 performance when the OEM reported 80 units. For just Q3, Gulfstream surged ahead with 35 units shipped, up from 31 a year ago.

In fact, Gulfstream was the only jet OEM to enjoy gains both YTD, and in Q3. Based on this apparent momentum, look for Gulfstream to have a strong finish to 2022 that should secure second place at year-end 2022.

Sitting squarely in third place is Bombardier with 74 units YTD, and 25 for Q3. Bombardier’s YTD total trails its 2021 performance (82 units), as does its Q3 shipments (27 in 2021). Between them, Cessna, Gulfstream and Bombardier collectively accounted for 282 units (63.2% of the total jet market YTD).

In the billings category Gulfstream was the clear leader, reporting $4.51bn, which was approximately 32% of the total business aircraft market YTD. Bombardier was second in billings with $3.63bn. The two companies account for a total of $8.15bn YTD, representing more than 57.7% of the total market between them.

Outside of the top three bizjet OEMs, there is still a spirited race to capture the middle portion of the jet market.

Cirrus and Embraer were locked in a tight battle for fourth place, with Cirrus maintaining a slight lead (53 units versus 52). Coincidentally, this was exactly the same margin separating the two companies at the end of Q2 when Cirrus had 30 units and Embraer 29.

In the case of Cirrus, its 53-unit YTD total represents a gain of seven units over 2021, while Embraer’s 52-units lagged the 54 shipped in 2021.

Pilatus claimed a comfortable sixth place with 27 shipments (well behind Embraer but far ahead of Dassault). Of course, Dassault only reports half-yearly, but Pilatus’ total exactly matched its 2021 result, although its Q3 2022 total (eight units) lagged the 12 they reported in Q3 2021.

Honda (13 units YTD) is in eighth place, lagging the 15 units shipped a year ago. The company was well behind its Q3 2021 pace (nine units), shipping just three jets in Q3 2022.

And, as they typically do, Airbus and Boeing rounded out the jet market with Airbus reporting five deliveries so far (one in Q3), matching its 2021 performance, while Boeing hasn’t reported any deliveries so far this year, down from two in 2021.

Turboprop Market Specifics

The Turboprop market is doing better than the jet market, although not quite as well as GAMA claims... The 7.3% jump the GAMA report shows is based on a market of 383 turboprops delivered so far this year. Unfortunately, this total includes 157 single-seat agricultural turboprops.

Traditional turboprops, capable of performing a business mission with executives, and flown by professional pilots, totaled 226 units. A year ago, the number of traditional business turboprop shipments stood at 217. Based on traditional business turboprops, the gain so far this year is approximately 4.2%, not the 7.3% GAMA published.

Looking at just Q3 2022, traditional turboprops totaled 86 units, down from 90 in Q3 2021.

Of the nine companies reporting turboprop deliveries, four enjoyed better numbers YTD than in 2021, while five shipped fewer airplanes. 

While this suggests a soft overall market, some of the turboprop OEMs, including the market leaders, had a remarkably strong Q3, giving hope moving forward...

Cessna tightened its grip on first place with a 15-unit Q3, helping its YTD total climb to 51 units. A year ago, Cessna’s turboprop deliveries totaled just 40, even on the strength of a 16-unit Q3 surge.

Textron’s Beechcraft unit and Pilatus tied in second place with 48 units each. The Beechcraft performance was highlighted by an 18-unit Q3, whereas Pilatus lost ground with 13-units shipped in Q3. One year ago, Pilatus was ‘Top of the Props’ with 56 units at the end of the third quarter, while Beechcraft was a distant second with 42.

Fourth place was claimed by Piper with 30 deliveries YTD, down from 31 last year. Piper’s Q3 results were also down, from 14 units in 2021 to 10. Close behind in fifth place was Daher’s TBM unit with 29 deliveries YTD, down from 30 in 2021. Daher (TBM) had a remarkable Q3, delivering 24 of its 29-airplane total so far.

Sixth place went to Epic (10 deliveries YTD, up from six in 2021), while Daher’s Kodiak unit performed slightly behind its 2021 pace to claim seventh, with nine deliveries YTD compared with 11 in 2021.

Bringing up the rear were Piaggio (one delivery so far this year, versus none in 2021) and Pacific Aerospace, lately renamed NZSkydive Ltd., with no deliveries reported this year or last.

Considering the turboprop market as it stands at the end of Q3 2022, traditional business turboprops should finish the year in the 340- to 350-unit range.

In Summary...

Briefly touching on the piston segment, with overall piston single and twin deliveries at the 1,012-unit mark, it is realistic to expect piston deliveries to reach 1,400 to 1,425 units this year – a number that should herald improvement in the jet and turboprop segments over the next few years.

With all segments of Business Aviation performing positively overall, it seems reasonable to hope we might finish 2022 with aircraft billings in the $22.5bn to $23bn range, with unit deliveries around 2,675-2,725. That would certainly be a satisfying close to 2022. Stay tuned!

More information from www.gama.aero

Looking for more Market Insights? Read Business Aviation Market Overview – December 2022

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