“[New billionaires in fast-growing countries] have to buy longer-range airplanes. If you’re flying from Mongolia to Nigeria, it’s either a three-day journey flying commercial or a nine-hour flight on your jet.”
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.