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Gulfstream overtakes Bombardier as world’s top business jet maker by shipment value

Montreal-based Bombardier and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. have agreed to co-operate as they develop planes that will take on the industry’s giants, Airbus and Boeing, which dominate sales of narrow-bodied aircraft, the largest segment in the commercial airplane market. China is seen as a major growth market for the industry.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A surge in business aircraft shipments helped Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to overtake Bombardier as the world's leading business jet manufacturer in terms of value in the second quarter, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

The U.S.-based manufacturer shipped 36 aircraft worth $1.83-billion (U.S.) in the quarter, compared to 45 planes valued at $1.59-billion for Bombardier. The value of Gulfstream's shipments doubled from a year earlier when it delivered 21 aircraft. Bombardier shipped one less aircraft this year but the value of planes delivered increased by $274-million or nearly 18 per cent.

Halfway through the year, the value of Gulfstream's aircraft shipments was 7.5 per cent greater than its Canadian rival.

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Bombardier shipped 14 Global 5000/600, 11 Challenger 605, 16 Challenger 300 and four Learjet 60XR during the quarter. Gulfstream delivered 30 of its 450/550/650 planes and six smaller 150/280 aircraft.

Overall, the industry association said total worldwide airplane shipments rose 8.9 per cent in the first half of 2013 as billings of various smaller aircraft reached $10.4-billion (U.S.), up 26.4 per cent from the prior year. It marked the first time that six-month revenues surpassed $10-billion since 2008.

Shipments of single, twin and piston-engine airplanes increased, but industry business jet deliveries decreased 4.1 per cent to 283 planes, from 295 a year ago.

"We are encouraged to see a strong increase in billings this quarter, but the mixed results in shipments – and the differences in performance among sectors – demonstrate that general aviation airplane manufacturers still face some strong headwinds as the global economy recovers," stated association president Pete Bunce.

Montreal-based Bombardier shipped 179 aircraft valued at $5.8-billion (U.S.) in 2012, compared to 94 aircraft valued at $4.1-billion by Gulfstream.

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