With the large increase in demand for private aviation in 2021, the sales of new aircraft bounced back from the COVID induced drop in 2020.  The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported global sales of 710 new business jets in 2021, up 10% from the 644 new  jets sold in 2020. Sales of piston and turboprop airplanes also increased, as did sales of new helicopters. 

Overall, the total worldwide value of new airplane billings was $21.6bn, an increase of approximately 7.6% compared to 2020 and new helicopters reporesented $3.7bn in billings in 2021. The quarterly unit sales increased throughout the year, partly as the industry and the world bounced back from COVID, and people started to travel again, which increased the demand. Offsetting this were supply chain issues which delayed the delivery of some parts and components.

β€œThe strength and tenacity of the general aviation industry has provided a strong foundation for the industry to rebound from pandemic-related setbacks with a powerful showing in 2021. Total aircraft shipments are converging on figures that were seen before the outset of the pandemic. The industry has been able to weather the storm by strategically managing workforce and supply chain challenges, which unfortunately are still ongoing. Despite this adversity, there is robust interest and excitement in our industry as we continue to further our advancements in innovation, technology and environmental sustainability,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA President and CEO.

The table below shows unit sales of business jets by manufacturer.

    Manufacturer   2021   2020   Change
 Airbus  11  5  6
 Boeing  2  1  1
 Bombardier  120  114  6
 Cirrus  86  73  13
 Dassault  30  34  (4)
 Embraer  93  86  7
 Gulfstream  119  127  (8)
 Honda  37  31  6
 Pilatus  45  41  4
 Textron Aviation (Cessna)  167  132  35
 Total  710  644  66


The most significant model sales included the following:

 44 aircraft of the Challenger 350/650 - super-mid size, with transcontinental U.S. range
 66 aircraft of the Global 5000/5500/6000/6500/7500 - large ultra-long range business jets

 86 aircraft of the SF50 - very light (or personal) jet, with a 1,300 nm range

 56 aircraft of the Phenom 300/300E - light jet, with a range of about 2,000nm

 103 aircraft of the G500/550/600/650/650ER - large to very long-range jets

 37 aircraft of the HondaJet - light jet, with a range over 1,400nm

 45 aircraft of the PC-24 - light jet, with a range over 1,800nm

 34 aircraft of the Citation M2 - light jet
 26 aircraft of the Citation CJ3+ - light jet
 27 aircraft of the Citation CJ4 Gen2 - light jet
 34 aircraft of the Citation Latitude - mid-size jet
 34 aircraft of the Citation Longtitude - super-mid size jet

Textron Aviation (Cessna) leads the market in terms of number of units sold in 2021. The company delivered about 20% of all new general aviation aircraft (pistons, turboprops and jets) in 2021 and was the leader in the business jet category. The Cessna Citation Latitude was again the top seller in the mid-size jet category and 2021 was the first year for significant sales of the newer super-mid Citation Longtitude.

The Embraer Phenom 300/300E continues to be the most popular light jet.

The Cirrus Vission SF50 has proven to be an incredibly popular single engine very light or personal jet. The $2.8m aircraft offers both an emergency autoland system and a whole-aircraft ballistic parachute.

Bombardier announced that it will end production of the Learjet line, to allow it to focus on the larger and more profitable Challengers and Globals. Bombardier and Gulfstream are the two biggest manufacturers of these large business jets. 

Airbus had a good year with 11 sales of its Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ's). These are based on the Airbus commercial jets from the A319 to A350.

The relative sizes of regional markets was similar to prior years. The North American market accounted for 65.9% of business jet deliveries. The second largest market for business jet deliveries during the year was Europe at 18.0%. North America was also the largest market for new piston and turboprop deliveries.

Other highlights in the information from GAMA include:

  • Worldwide new turboprop airplane shipments increased 19% from 443 units in 2020 to 527 units in 2021. The 2021 shipments were just above the pre-COVID 2019 levels.
  • Worldwide piston-engine airplane shipments increased 6% from 1,312 units in 2020 to 1,393 units in 2021. 
  • Helicopter shipments increased 23% from 674 units in 2020 to 826 units in 2021.