Honeywell Says Happy Days Are Still Here

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Honeywell says it expects record deliveries of business jets to continue for a few more years, but the peak of the market is in sight and will likely occur next year or in 2010. But even though the unprecedented expansion of the industry that has increased every year for the last five couldn't continue, the company's annual report, released on the eve of the National Business Aviation Association convention, says there won't be the crash that usually follows boom times for the aviation sector. "Gains in new aircraft capability and flexibility, incremental demand from fractional ownership and jet cards, airline use of business jets, branded charter operations and special mission applications, and a global economy are all contributing to business jet demand," the report said, predicting that more than 17,000 business aircraft, worth $300 billion, will be delivered in the next 10 years.

In the next year, business jet deliveries are expected to hit a record 1,200 and may rise as high as 1,400 the following year, depending on how quickly new programs get into production. "2008 will add to the string of record years the industry has experienced, and order intake across most business jet categories remains strong, consistent with last year's forecast," said Rob Wilson, Honeywell's president of business and general aviation. Aircraft backlogs currently equate to nearly three years worth of deliveries, so 2008 and 2009 still shape up to be strong years for the industry."