Feb 20 (Reuters) - Business jet deliveries worldwide rose 3.8 percent on an annual basis to 703 planes in 2018, lifted by demand from North America and the introduction of new models, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said on Wednesday.
Forecasters and corporate plane makers expect higher business jet deliveries in 2019, fueled by the recent entry into service of new aircraft like Bombardier's Global 7500 and U.S. rival Gulfstream's G500.
Demand for business jets has slowly rebounded following slumping sales after the 2009 global economic crisis.
Deliveries are a closely watched metric since that is the point when customers pay the bulk of the cost of a new plane.
General aviation aircraft deliveries rose across all segments in 2018 for the first time in five years, helped by demand for new models, GAMA said.
Global airplane deliveries increased to 2,443 planes in 2018, up 4.7 percent on an annual basis, according to data from Washington-based GAMA. Rotorcraft deliveries rose 5.4 percent to 976 aircraft.
“This is the first year since 2013 that we’ve seen all segments up in deliveries,” said GAMA President and Chief Executive Pete Bunce in a statement.
The "impacts" of a 35-day, partial U.S. government shutdown that ended on Jan. 25 are "still being felt and assessed," GAMA said. The shutdown affected the certification program for Gulfstream's new G600 corporate plane. (Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Tom Brown)