“Time is our most precious commodity, and there are conveniences that wealth brings to essentially get you more time. —retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, explaining why he commutes via private jet from his Seattle home to watch games of the Los Angeles Clippers, the basketball team he bought last year for $2 billion. ”
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.