Business jet deliveries expected to hit bottom in 2010

10/18/2009 12:00 AM

10/18/2009 7:30 PM

Business jet deliveries are expected to hit bottom next year before beginning a slow — but steady — climb upward, according to Honeywell Aerospace's annual business aircraft outlook released Sunday evening.

Planemakers expect to deliver between 750 and 800 business jets this year, down from 1,139 jets a year ago, the outlook said.

Next year, deliveries are projected to drop further — to about 650 jets, followed by a flat to moderate improvement in 2011, the outlook said.

Things look better starting in 2012 from pent-up demand and an expected global economic recovery.

The business aviation market is key to Wichita, where Cessna Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier Learjet produce 45 percent of the world's airplanes.

The three planemakers have laid off more than 13,000 people in the last 12 months after cutting production as customers canceled and deferred orders during the economic downturn.

Long-term, "there is a strong demand out there," said Rob Wilson, Honeywell Aerospace president of business and general aviation. "People still value business aviation and the efficiency and security."

In the meantime, "we'll have to buckle down for a slow but steady recovery," he said.

For more on this story see Monday's Eagle or Kansas.com.

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