““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
Jet Deliveries Soaring, Says Manufacturers' Association
First-quarter figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association show no signs that the business aviation industry is yet feeling the impact of a sagging U.S. economy. The 297 jets delivered in the first quarter of 2008 represent a 41-percent increase over the 211 deliveries for the same period in 2007, according to the Washington, D.C.-based association. According to GAMA president Pete Bunce, manufacturers continue to see a trend toward deliveries outside the U.S. and some expect international sales soon to exceed 70 percent of their business. At press time, GAMA had not yet compiled second-quarter figures, but both Textron (Cessna and Bell) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream) reported strong numbers.