Promising Aviation, Promising Economy

There's a high correlation between the health of the U.S. economy and sales of aircraft, says Jens Hennig, vice president of operations for General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

“The correlation of new aircraft sales to U.S. GDP or corporate profits is typically very close,” he says. “The R-square statistical measurement is 0.9,” he says. “If you add 18 months of lag time to the peaks and valleys of business jet sales, the R-squared measurement between corporate profits and business jet sales is extremely high.”

According to NBAA’s Hubbard, industry data shows that flight hours are up. “If you look back to 2008, into the teeth of the greatest recession since the Great Depression, we saw steep drop-offs across the board. People were flying 40 percent less, and sales of aircraft of all types were in steep decline for the next two to three years,” says Hubbard. “We’re probably still down about 10 percent from 2007, which was the historical high watermark on hours flown, but we are gaining traction.”

“We’re probably still down about 10 percent from 2007 … but we are gaining traction.”

Hubbard says gains have not always been continuous, month-over-month, and the numbers don’t match the heights of 2007, but since around mid-2011 to today, he has seen gains, and sales of new and pre-owned aircraft have continued to march higher.

“More companies and entrepreneurs are flying in North America than ever before, and we’re also seeing more international missions, as well.”


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