Sales data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shows deliveries in 2016 were lower than for several years. The annual databook reported 661 new business jets sold worldwide in 2016 compared to 718 unit sales in 2015. Here are some of the highlights and the sales by manufacturer.

The table below shows the unit sales by manufacturer.

    Manufacturer   2016   2015   Change
 Airbus  1  4  (3)
 Boeing  4  11 (7)
 Bombardier  163  199  (36)
 Cirrus  3  0  3
 Dassault  49  55  (6)
 Embraer  117  120  (3)
 Gulfstream  115  154  (39)
 Honda  23  2  21
 One Aviation  8  7  1
 Textron Aviation (Cessna)  178  166  12
 Total  661  718  (57)

The significant model sales included the following:


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


  63 aircraft for Phenom 300 - light jet, with a range of about 2,000nm


  88 aircraft for G300/350/400/450/500/550/650 - large to very long range jets


  38 aircraft for Citation M2 - light jet
  42 aircraft for Citation Latitude - mid-size jet 

Overall, the unit sales were at the lowest level since 2004, when 592 units were delivered. The biggest falls in 2016 were the sales of heavy jets at Bombardier and Gulfstream, with unit sales dropping back to the levels last seen around 2012.

With the biggest unit falls being the high-value heavy jets, the total market value of business jet sales was down 16% to $18.4bn in 2016, compared to the $21.9bn in 2015. North America is by far the largest market for business jets at almost 62% of the market. Europe is next and represented about 18.8% of the market in 2016. Market shares in the rest of the world contracted compared to the prior year.

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. But overall sales in 2016 were the lowest in over a decade.

Honda Aviation delivered twenty-three units of its much talked about HondaJet after launching it at the end of 2015. Cirrus delivered the first of its $2m price tag Vision SF50 very light jet.

GAMA reports that the total number of active business jets in the US is 13,440. Of this total 1,537 are personal, 7,861 are used for business (FAR part 91), 2,675 are on part 135 charter certificates and the rest have a variety of uses. In comparison, there are 1,561 turboprops and 1,766 piston engined planes under FAR part 135.

The other highlights in the GAMA Statistical yearbook include:

  • Worldwide new turboprop airplane shipments increased 3.4% from 557 units in 2015 to 582 units in 2016. The estimated billings for turboprops was $1,705m, for an average of just under $3m per plane.
  • Worldwide piston-engine airplane shipments dropped 9.7% from 1,265 units in 2015 to 1,142 units in 2016. The estimated billings for piston-engine planes was $661m, for an average of about $580k per plane.
  • According to numbers from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the number of active pilots continues to decline. There were 584,362 active pilots at the end of 2016, compared to 590,038 active pilots at the end of 2015. The one bright spot is that the number of student pilots increased over the year by about 6,000.
  • The average hours flown by business jets was 285 hours per year (2015 numbers), but within this group, on-demand charter jets (FAR part 135) flew an average of 400 hours. Similarly, on-demand charter turboprops also flew an average of 400 hours each, whereas the average usage for all turboprops was 261 hours.
  • The number of planes in fractional fleets grew for the second year in a row to 882 aircraft, up from 837 in 2015.

The full "General Aviation Statistical Databook" for 2016 is available on the GAMA website.