Seventh and final in a series.
By Judson Rollins
Jet manufacturers typically introduce a new airplane every 15 years or so.
Commercial turboprops have not innovated to nearly the same extent as jets, with rival manufacturers ATR and De Havilland Canada (and predecessor Bombardier) having produced nearly 95% of the world’s in-service fleet. Although order volume has slowed in recent years, more than 300 aircraft are still on order.
Both manufacturers sell aircraft based on 30+ year old designs. However, the market’s size is probably capped because of turboprops’ relatively low cruise altitude and speed, making them limited alternatives to regional jets beyond roughly 500nm. This limits the return on investment from a clean-sheet design, either from aerodynamic improvements or the use of carbon composites.
Emerging threats lie on the horizon as China’s Xian MA700 nears its first flight and Embraer deliberates re-entering the market with a new design. Given sufficient market acceptance, either would constitute a significant threat not only to ATR and DHC, but potentially also the smaller end of the regional jet market.
By Judson Rollins
Earlier this week, LNA examined the potential for a shakeout among European carriers as the coronavirus outbreak spreads to the continent.
Five European countries now rank among the ten hardest hit – travel demand is plummeting nearly as rapidly as after the September 11 attacks in the US.
On Thursday, UK-based Flybe went into bankruptcy after long-time financial struggles. The airline had 54 De Havilland Canada Dash-8-400s and nine Embraer E175-E1s in its fleet, more than half of which were leased from Nordic Aviation Capital and HEH Aviation Management.
LNA reviewed aircraft ownership data to understand top manufacturer and lessor exposure to European carriers, particularly those with known profitability issues and high debt loads.
In last week’s analysis, LNA examined which airlines in greater China and the rest of Asia may be in imminent risk of financial distress due to the growing coronavirus outbreak. We found that airlines from Malaysia to Japan have significant exposure to the Chinese market. Several have shaky balance sheets and were already losing money prior to the outbreak, most notably AirAsia, AirAsiaX, Thai Airways, Nok Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Asiana.
The coronavirus outbreak has now spread to Europe and the Middle East, but we are continuing our focus on Asia as it’s been most greatly affected so far. Additional analysis focusing on Europe will follow, with particular attention to the potential for further airline consolidation on the continent.
LNA reviewed ownership and operating data on aircraft to understand top manufacturer and lessor exposure to greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, and the rest of East Asia.
By Judson Rollins
Executives from turboprop manufacturer ATR expressed optimism about their product range and the future of turboprops in general at last week’s Singapore Airshow.
According to industry databases, ATR has 52% of the market for 30+ seat turboprops in service and 63% of 70+ seaters. It competes primarily against De Havilland Canada’s DHC-8 family. The ATR-72 accounts for nearly two-thirds of ATR production. Both models are produced on a single assembly line.
However, ATR dominates the backlogs by a wider margin.
By the Leeham News team.
Jan. 2, 2020, © Leeham News: This will be a pivotal year for Boeing.
It will be a year of challenges for Airbus.
Embraer Commercial Aviation should disappear.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries faces final decisions for the SpaceJet.
Overhanging international trade is the US presidential election.
These are just some of the headlines to look for in 2020.
Leeham News and Analysis provides its annual outlook as the new year, and the new decade, begins.
December 13, 2019, ©. Leeham News: The first all-electric commercial aircraft, a Harbor Air DHC-2 Beaver, flew over the Fraser River near Vancouver in the week (Figure 1). It was powered by a magniX electric engine fed with energy from batteries.
Despite this progress, this Corner series is about why the e in our future ePlanes should stand for environment and not electric.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 21, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week we started our analysis of the De Havilland Canada’s DHC 8-400 as a replacement for US Scope Clause 50 seat jets like the Bombardier CRJ200 or the Embraer ERJ-145.
We compared a newly produced and adapted DHC 8-400 with United’s CRJ-700 conversion to CRJ550, a 50-seater version of the larger jet. After looking at the airplane dimensions and cabin spaces last week we now go deeper into the configuration of the aircraft and their economics.
By Bjorn Fehrm
November 14, 2019, © Leeham News: The US mainline airlines have large fleets of 50-seater regional jets that are getting old. The present Scope Clause limits on the number of aircraft with seating over 50 seats stop the mainlines from replacing these aircraft with larger aircraft. So there is a real need for an efficient 50 seater regional aircraft for the US market.
As there are no 50 seater jets in production, United is converting its 70 seater CRJ700s to 50 seaters to fill the gap and calls them the CRJ550. This is where de Havilland Canada sees a change for an adapted DHC 8-400 turboprop. It’s more efficient than a CRJ550 while offering the same comfort, says de Havilland. We check if this is correct and what chances a DHC 8-“550” have in this market.
By Bjorn Fehrm
October 9, 2018, ©. Leeham News, Antibes France: The European Airlines Association, ERA, gathered 44 of its 51 member airlines in Antibes France, today for the first day of its 2019 General Assembly meeting.
LNA participated in the event for the first time and we found an impressive gathering of airline and airport representatives, aircraft OEMs and support businesses discussing the challenges facing the European regional air transport market.
Sept. 6, 2019, © Leeham News: Nashville—The new de Havilland Canada (DHC) vowed yesterday to revitalize the former Bombardier Dash 8-400 (Q400), the program DHC acquired effective June 1.
Bombardier is selling off and exiting the commercial aviation sector after a series of management miscalculations, cost overruns and thee new airplane programs in commercial and business aviation nearly bankrupted the company.
The Q400 was the first complete airplane program to go. The CRJ program sale is next. A majority interest in the C Series jetliner occurred in 2018.
DHC is a subsidiary of Canada’s Longview Aviation. Another subsidiary, Viking Air, acquired all previous Bombardier-de Havilland programs from the Dash 1 through Dash 7 and CL-Series aerial fire-fighting water bombers.