Report: GA Sales Continue To Decline

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Worldwide deliveries of new general aviation aircraft dropped almost 10 percent in the first nine months of 2011, compared to the same period last year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported on Monday. The rate of decline is slower than it was over the same period last year, GAMA said, when deliveries fell 15 percent. Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture notified employees last week that more layoffs are coming, according to the Wichita Eagle. Boisture said his analysis shows little hope of market expansion for at least the next two years, citing slowing growth in China, the European debt crisis, and cuts in defense spending worldwide. Hawker will eliminate 101 jobs, according to the Eagle, bringing the company's total job loss for this year to 459.

Piston aircraft deliveries totaled 577 for the first nine months of this year, according to GAMA's report (PDF), compared to 633 delivered in the first nine months last year, an 8.8 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments declined 5.9 percent to 223 so far in 2011, and business jet shipments totaled 427, a 13 percent decrease. Not all GA manufacturers shared equally in the downturn; both Cessna and Diamond showed an increase in deliveries compared to last year's third-quarter report. Cessna's deliveries, including pistons, turboprops, and jets, rose from 347 to 424, with the biggest difference in deliveries of the Skycatcher LSA, which totaled only 6 last year but 102 so far this year. Diamond also rose from 99 deliveries last year to 132 this year, with the DA42 light twin leading the increase.