U.S. aerospace consultancy Teal Group has forecast demand for 2,909 regional aircraft worth $65.9 billion over the next 10 years. The projection includes 1,732 regional jets worth $46.9 billion and 1,177 turboprops worth $19 billion (2009 dollars).
“These numbers represent eight-percent shrinkage relative to the previous ten years [1999-2008], which were basically the glory days for this market,” said Teal vice president of analysis Richard Aboulafia. Production during that time totaled 3,563 aircraft worth $71.7 billion, consisting of 2,791 regional jets worth $61.1 billion and 772 turboprops worth $10.6 billion.
“This market is flat, and there are no likely candidates for growth,” he said. “Regional aircraft are the one segment of the aviation business that did not grow during the great 2003-2008 boom market.”
Now, three new market entrants– namely, Mitsubishi, Sukhoi/Alenia and China’s Comac–stand ready to populate the market with new products in an attempt to take advantage of Bombardier’s and Embraer’s de-emphasis on the small-aircraft commercial market. “The Superjet will find a niche,” said Aboulafia, “but there are good reasons to doubt whether the other two planes will achieve more than a marginal presence in the market.”