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Pandemic sees aircraft billings down around 15%
Wednesday, 24 February 2021
GAMA's numbers for 2020 are not pretty. Its members' aircraft deliveries were worth about $4 billion dollars less than the previous year, with North America accounting for the majority of sales.

Aircraft deliveries during 2020 reached a value of $22.8 billion, a decrease compared to $27.8 billion in 2019. Piston aeroplane deliveries were steady, while turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries declined as compared to 2019. So reports the General Aviation Manufacturers Association year-end general aviation aircraft billings and shipments report.

“As expected, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted general aviation and stifled the industry's growth. While we continue to face headwinds globally, all signs point to strong demand for our products and services that are unfortunately being constrained by pandemic induced supply chain limitations and a vast array of disjointed barriers to air travel across national borders. As we progress through the recovery process, our member companies have made the health and safety of their employees and that of their suppliers an overarching priority, and rigorously support economic policies that preserve our skilled aerospace workforce.” says GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “It is encouraging to see that segments of our industry saw a solid rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020. In 2021, it will be important for the general aviation industry to work together with our commercial sector colleagues to keep our interlinked but very fragile supply chain secure, while continuing to engage global regulatory authorities to leverage their mutually recognized safety competencies to keep pace with accelerating technological innovations that improve aviation safety and environmental sustainability and facilitate industry recovery.”

Aeroplane shipments in 2020, when compared to 2019, saw piston aeroplane deliveries decline 0.9%, with 1,312 units; turboprop aeroplane deliveries decline 15.6%, with 443 units; and business jet deliveries decline 20.4%, with 644 units. The value of aeroplane deliveries for 2020 was $20 billion, a decline of approximately 14.8%.

Preliminary civil-commercial turbine helicopter deliveries for 2020, when compared to 2019, saw a decline of approximately 16.9%, with 532 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw a decline of 20.7%, with 142 units.

The piston engine aeroplane market in North America accounted for 67.9% of overall shipments. The second largest market for piston aeroplane for the sixth year in a row was the Asia Pacific market at 17.4%. Turboprop aeroplane shipments to North American customers accounted for 54.9% of the global deliveries. The second largest market for turboprop aeroplane deliveries was Europe at 14.4%. The North American market accounted for 66.0% of business jet deliveries. The second largest market for business jet deliveries during the year was Europe at 16.7%.

Year-end Aircraft Shipments and Billings

Aircraft Type20192020Change
Piston Aeroplanes1,3241,312-0.9%
Business Jets809644-20.4%
Total Aeroplane2,6582,399-9.7%
Total Aeroplane Billing$23.5B$20B-14.8%
Piston Helicopters179142-20.7%
Turbine Helicopters640532-16.9%
Total Helicopters819674/-17.7%
Total Helicopter Billing$3.2B$2.7B-16.2%

Leonardo Helicopters fourth quarter data was not available at the time of publication. Leonardo Helicopters will release year-end results in March. GAMA excluded 2019 fourth quarter data for Leonardo in the comparison table.

Daher delivered 53 aircraft from the Kodiak and TBM single-engine turboprop product lines, as well as orders for another 50 of these aircraft to be delivered in 2021.

Last year's deliveries were led by the TBM 940 and TBM 910, with 42 provided primarily to pilot-owners. The majority of TBMs were for North American customers (34 aircraft), followed by Europe (with two in Germany, two in the U.K., and two in France), along with one aircraft in Brazil and the first TBM to be based in the United Arab Emirates at Dubai.

The other 11 deliveries in 2020 were Kodiak 100 Series II – nine of which were in the Americas, along with two provided in Europe for Germany.

Embraer delivered 50 Phenom 300 series light jets in 2020, making it the most delivered light jet of the year. This is the ninth consecutive year that the Phenom 300 series has achieved this milestone, having accrued more than 590 deliveries since entering the market in December 2009. In 2020, the Phenom 300 series was also the most delivered jet model out of all twinjets in the market.

Textron Aviation delivered nearly 560 aircraft to customers worldwide in 2020, leading the General Aviation Manufacturers Association annual shipments and billings. In total, Textron Aviation delivered more than a quarter of all general aviation aircraft last year. The report also reveals Textron Aviation as the world's third largest jet manufacturer after Boeing and Airbus, while surpassing Boeing's turbine fixed-wing deliveries 251 to 210.

In 2020, Textron Aviation delivered 132 Cessna Citation business jets, with the midsize Citation Latitude topping the company's jet deliveries for the year. The company delivered 113 Cessna and Beechcraft turboprops, led by its Caravan and King Air series aircraft. Deliveries of piston aircraft totaled 314, with the Cessna Skyhawk continuing its reign as the world's best-selling single-engine piston.

Last year the company also achieved significant program milestones, with the first flight of the Cessna SkyCourier utility turboprop in May, and the unveilings of the Beechcraft King Air 360 and the Beechcraft King Air 260 twin-engine turboprops later in the year.

GAMA's complete 2020 year-end report can be found at

Contact details from our directory:
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Trade Organisations
Textron Aviation Inc. Airframer
Textron Aviation (Beechcraft) Airframer
Daher Airframer
Embraer-Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Embraer Phenom
Daher TBM910/960
Daher Kodiak
Related directory sectors:
Trade Organisations