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LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - New large corporate planes that can fly farther and an industry push toward sustainable aviation fuels are seen as bright spots as the world’s biggest business jet makers assemble in Las Vegas to showcase their offerings at the sector’s largest gathering.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual corporate aircraft show kicks off on Tuesday against a backdrop of slowing global economic growth, trade tensions between the United States and China and Brexit uncertainties, factors seen softening demand for corporate jets in the next two years, industry executives and analysts say.
Nevertheless, the jet makers have had a good year, with deliveries up almost 13% during the first half of 2019, according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Deliveries are being fueled by luxurious new longer-range models hitting the market that offer amenities such as beds and hot showers at 40,000 feet, analysts say.
General Dynamics’ Gulfstream, Bombardier, Textron’s Cessna, Dassault Aviation and Embraer SA saw their order backlogs grow 7% in 2019, the first rise since the 2008 financial crisis, said aviation analyst Rolland Vincent.
An NBAA highlight this year could be the widely-expected launch of a new long-range jet by Gulfstream, which declined comment.
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