The data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows sales in 2015 were at the same level as 2014. The annual databook reported 718 new business jets sold worldwide in 2015 compared to 722 unit sales in 2014. Here are some of the highlights and the sales by manufacturer.

The table below shows the unit sales by manufacturer.

    Manufacturer   2015   2014   Change
 Airbus  4  5  (1)
 Boeing  11  10  1
 Bombardier  199  204  (5)
 Dassault  55  66  (11)
 Embraer  120  116  4
 Gulfstream  154  150  4
 Honda  2  0  2
 One Aviation  7  12  5
 Textron Aviation (Cessna)  166  159  7
 Total  722  718  (4)

The significant model sales included the following:

Bombardier

  68 aircraft for Challenger 300/350 - super mid-size, with transcontinental U.S. range
  73 aircraft for Global 5000/6000 - large cabin, ultra long range business jets

Embraer

  70 aircraft for Phenom 300 - light jet, with a range of about 2,000nm
  20 aircraft for Legacy 500 - new mid-size jet

Gulfstream

  120 aircraft for G300/350/400/450/500/550/650 - large jets

Cessna

  41 aircraft for Citation M2 - light jets
  33 aircraft for Citation CJ4 - light jets

In the very large sector, where Airbus and Boeing convert their commercial jets for private use, Boeing has been leading the field for the last few years. This year sales included 4 private aircraft based on the Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) - a long-range, widebody, twin-engine jet airliner.

Honda Aviation delivered the first two units of its much talked about HondaJet. The aircraft had faced several delays during development but received final certification in December 2015.

The value of business jet sales, mirrored the units, with total billings of $21.9bn in 2015, which was 0.7% down on the $22.0bn in 2014. North America is by far the largest market for business jets at almost 61% of the market. Europe is next and represented about 18% of the market in 2015.

The total number of active business jets in the US is 12,362. Of this total 1,412 are personal, 7,578 are used for business (FAR part 91), 2,524 are on part 135 charter certificates and the rest have a variety of uses. In comparison there are 1,462 turboprops under FAR part 135.

The other highlights in the GAMA Statistical yearbook include:

  • Worldwide turboprop airplane shipments dropped 10.7% from 1,849 units in 2014 to 1,641 units in 2015. The estimated billings for turboprops was $1,651m.
  • Worldwide piston-engine airplane shipments dropped 5.3% from 635 units in 2014 to 601 units in 2015. The estimated billings for piston-engine planes was $601m.
  • Shipments in North America grew across all categories of aircraft. But, economic uncertainty and currency fluctuations reduced the unit sales in Brazil, Europe, as well as in emerging markets, like China.
  • According to numbers from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the number of active pilots continues to decline. There were 590,038 active pilots at the end of 2015, compared to 593,499 active pilots at the end of 2014. Anecdotally, I've heard a few reports of pilots being hard to find and recruit and the numbers are starting to bear this out.
  • The average hours flown by business jets is 314 hours per year (2014 numbers).

The full "General Aviation Statistical Databook" for 2015 is available on the GAMA website.