VERO BEACH, Fla., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when General Aviation's overall piston-aircraft deliveries are down by 16 percent for the first half of this year, Piper Aircraft underscored its string of successes by announcing today that its piston aircraft deliveries are up 18 percent. The company also announced that overall deliveries for the first half of 2008 are up 13 percent over the same period last year and that its PA-46, luxury aircraft models are registering record deliveries.
"In the last three years, Piper has moved forward on virtually every front -- from new product introductions to strong sales, from strategic alliances to breaking into an entirely new segment with our all-new PiperJet," said Piper President & CEO James K. Bass. "We are a modern-day, American success story: a company that relies on American workers to provide the next generation aircraft for the world."
Piper's current piston increases are driven by the unparalleled success of its all new Piper Matrix, a cabin-class, six-seat aircraft based on the world-renowned Malibu Mirage and operating with the economy of an unpressurized aircraft. That success accounted in part for deliveries of 98 piston aircraft in the first half of 2008 against 83 piston aircraft for the same period last year. Of that total, 48 -- or more than half -- were from deliveries of the Piper Matrix, which the company began delivering this year. Moreover, deliveries of Piper PA-46 models combined (Meridian, Mirage and Matrix) are at record levels.
"We have orders for 101 Matrix models this year," Bass said. "The Piper Matrix fills a niche in the market that hasn't been truly addressed until now. To date, our entire first year of production is sold out and market demand continues to be very strong. At the same time, deliveries of our flagship turboprop, the Piper Meridian, continue unabated, with 20 aircraft for the first half of this year and an expected 53 deliveries in total for 2008. These deliveries have continued at the same strong levels as those in 2007."
In all, Piper delivered 118 aircraft with
Bass underscored Piper's achievements during the past three years as an index of the company's success and key to its rejuvenation.
The company's management team -- newly appointed at all its most senior executive positions in the last three years -- has orchestrated and managed a turn-around that has rebuilt the company into a renewed player within General Aviation.
Bass said Piper is in many ways a new company.
"We are, however, a new company fueled by a venerable heritage," he said. "We know where we've been and what milestones we have accomplished. And we know where we're going. We truly are the inheritors of a great legacy, and we are inspired by the knowledge that our best days are ahead of us."
SOURCE Piper Aircraft