CORRECTED-Gulfstream ships more than Cessna in business jet rebound

Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:22am EST
 
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(Corrects name of executive from Tyler to Taylor in second and sixth paragraphs)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Gulfstream became the world's No.2 maker of business jets by deliveries in 2013 as surging sales of its large executive jets outpaced Cessna's smaller lineup, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Growing demand in the Middle East has driven the large jet boom, helping to offset a shrinking European market, said Steve Taylor, head of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in a webcast.

Strong sales of the most expensive business jets raised total billings for the industry by 23.1 percent last year to the highest since 2008, even as the number of new planes grew just 0.9 percent from an eight-year low.

Bombardier took first place in the $21 billion business jet market with a little-changed 26.5 percent share of deliveries, thanks to larger Challenger and Global models.

Gulfstream, a division of General Dynamics Corp, expanded its market share to 21.2 percent last year from 14 percent in 2012. Textron Inc's Cessna saw its share drop to 20.5 percent from a market-leading 26.9 percent.

Booming sales at the top of the business jet spectrum has followed in part from the rollout of big new aircraft in recent years, said Taylor, and the pendulum could swing back soon.

"As new light and mid-size products start to deliver, we could see that segment recover starting in 2014," he said.

Embraer SA, for instance, plans to begin delivering its new mid-size Legacy 500 this year.   Continued...