Though industry insiders have been predicting for months a downturn in the general aviation market, the speed of the fall was almost completely unexpected, catching everyone from manufacturers to end users flat-footed. Economics have certainly played a role, but many are blaming politicians for the depths of the industry's woes. "We have an unprecedented situation where there is a stigma attached to flying a corporate jet," says an analyst at Credit Suisse. There are signs of a thaw on Capitol Hill, however. Despite earlier harsh rhetoric aimed at the industry, the stimulus bill did not include any broad restrictions on business aviation, and supporters were cheered by a tax break designed to boost sales of business aircraft.
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