US Business Jet Market

This report describes and analyzes factors shaping the competitiveness of the U.S.
business jet industry during 2006–11, as well as the industry’s structure worldwide.
The United States has been the leading player in the industry since its inception in the
1960s. Three of the six global business jet producers are headquartered in the United
States, while the other producers maintain at least one U.S.-based production activity.
However, competition is strong, frequent cutting-edge updates are necessary, and
demand is cyclical. During the recent economic downturn, deliveries dropped
57 percent, from a peak of 1,121 aircraft in 2008 to a preliminary total of 485 in 2011.
This decline largely reflected customers’ lower profits and the scarcity of credit,
which especially weighed on potential buyers in two segments—very light and light
business jets—in which deliveries of two U.S.-owned firms are concentrated. At least
seven additional U.S. and foreign companies have expressed their intent to enter this
industry. U.S. industry officials also indicated that sales and development of business
jets were affected by the availability of financing, continued investment in research
and development to maintain innovation capability, and the timely certification of
business jets to provide state-of-the-art aircraft to the market. Finally, as demand for
business jets softened in traditional markets, such as the United States and Europe, it
rose in emerging economies, which were less affected by the downturn. This study,
prepared by the U.S. International Trade Commission at the request of the U.S. House
of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, focuses on business jets at or
below 50,000 pounds maximum takeoff weight.

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