The ‘big five’ OEMs – a challenging 2023 but a strong year ahead

The ‘big five’ bizav aircraft manufacturers all publish their annual review of delivery numbers in January. Each has faced challenges – from delayed certification of new models to continued supply chain issues – but they have all forecast strong or stronger performances for the year ahead.

Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace had expected FAA certification of its new Gulfstream G700 flagship by the end of 2023. This did not happen, so the 15 units it had expected to deliver before the end of the year were not handed over. Gulfstream’s forecast delivery figures for 2023 were therefore lower and revenues were also down an estimated USD1 billion. Certification is now expected by the end of Q1.

As a result, Gulfstream delivered 111 aircraft – 89 large cabin and 22 super mid-size G280 – in 2023, fewer than the 120 delivered in 2022 (96/24) and well short of its original forecast of 133 to 135 units. However, the OEM is looking forward to a strong 2024 and expects to deliver up to 160 new aircraft, including 50 of the newly certified G700. This number would be even higher, it said, but the G280 is built in Tel Aviv and production faces disruption due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Canadian OEM Bombardier delivered 15 more aircraft in 2023 than the previous year. The company delivered 75 Globals and 63 Challengers, up from figures of 70 and 50 respectively in 2022. It forecasts a further rise in deliveries for 2024 to a total between 150 and 155, levels not seen since 2016. The increase was due in large part to the easing of supply chain issues and growth is predicted to continue in 2025 with the anticipated certification of its new flagship Global 8500.

Like Gulfstream, Textron Aviation deliveries fell in 2023. The OEM delivered 168 jet aircraft, down from 178 in 2022. The 2023 inventory comprised 24 Citation Longitude and 41 Citation Latitude, with 105 CitationJet marques making up the remainder. Textron said it expects higher deliveries in 2024, assisted by increased manufacturing capacity and the introduction of both the Citation Ascend and the CJ3 Gen2.

Embraer Executive Jets reported its highest delivery numbers for seven years and a 12% increase over 2022. The Brazilian OEM delivered 115 bizjets in 2023, comprising 74 Phenoms and 41 Praetors. Embraer cited continued supply chain issues as the main reason for its performance falling just short of its original forecast of 120.

Dassault Aviation delivered just 26 Falcons in 2023, six fewer than in 2022 against a forecast of 35 units for the year. The French OEM had expected to report higher deliveries of its new Falcon 6X twin but, due to supply chain issues, the first delivery was delayed until three months after the aircraft had received its US and European certifications. Dassault said it was confident of stronger numbers in 2024.

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