At its annual State of the Industry press conference held earlier this year in Washington, D.C., the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, an international trade organization for companies that build business jets and other general-aviation aircraft, released the aircraft delivery numbers for 2017. Overall, from 2016 to 2017, business jet deliveries grew by 1.3 percent, increasing from 667 to 676 and reversing a downward trend that began after 2014, when deliveries fell from 722 to 718. Business-jet deliveries peaked in 2008 at 1,317. Although the number of deliveries grew last year, overall billings fell by 3.9 percent, from $18.73 billion to just under $17.99 billion. This marked the third straight year that billings had fallen from the previous year, though the drop from 2015 to 2016 was much steeper—14.4 percent—than last year’s. “There was growth in the lighter end of the segment, especially in new models,” GAMA chairman Phil Straub said at the press conference. “The midsize market contracted. Similarly, there was a slight slowdown in the large-cabin category. This is why billings were down and units were up.”
While deliveries may have been down in the midsize segment, last year’s most-delivered business jet was a midsize, or more specifically, a super midsize: the Bombardier Challenger 350.