By Bjorn Fehrm
15 Feb 2015: In Part 1 of this article series we started comparing the alternatives available for turboprop short haul services in the 70 seat segment; ATR72-600 and Bombardier Q400. We also included the closest regional jet, CRJ700 from Bombardier, to compare costs and see where a jet would be needed to keep trip times within reason.
In Part 1 we went through the capacity of the aircraft and their basic characteristics. We also did a first check of their typical fuel consumption on a standard mission of 300 nautical miles.
We will now look closer at the economics of the aircraft; we fly them over different sectors with different speed profiles. We will also dissect their Cash Operating Costs (COC) and Direct Operating Cost (DOC). Having done all this we will look at the crossover points; for what market is ATR72 the choice and where does Q400 fit. And finally, what route sectors require a jet?
The ATR72-600, Bombardier Q400 and CRJ700 are quite different aircraft. The monikers turboprop, "propjet" and jet fit them well.
The positioning of the end of the scale products are clear, the intriguing aircraft is the Q400. When does it makes sense and has Bombardier positioned it correctly?
How does one explain its recent meager sales? Wrong aircraft at wrong time? Weak sales force? Wrong markets?