Forecast: Embraer to lead pack

 - December 28, 2007, 7:47 AM

A new report released by Forecast International says that Embraer will collect 40.8 percent of the projected $99.7 billion in sales of regional aircraft over the next 10 years, despite the lack of a turboprop in its existing product line. The Newtown, Conn.-based aerospace market research firm also predicts that Bombardier will take a 33.2-percent share over the next decade, while ATR secures 7 percent. The projection leaves the remaining 20 percent or so to the new Sukhoi, AVIC I and likely Mitsubishi entrants.

Overall, the company projects a market for 3,800 regional aircraft–2,539 regional jets and 1,261 turboprops–through the end of 2016. During that time, Embraer will produce 1,268 regional jets, or roughly 33 percent of the total; Bombardier will build 1,067 jets and turboprops combined, or about 28 percent; and ATR will ship 395 turboprops, said the report. None of the other three manufacturers will contribute more than 10 percent of the total, it added.

Citing a continuing shift in demand toward larger airplanes, the report said Embraer stands best positioned to take advantage of the trend, at least until Bombardier brings to market its proposed C Series in 2013. However, it emphasized that the industry needs further easing of scope clause restrictions in airline pilot contracts before the market for 90- to 125-seat jets reaches its full potential.

The study also noted the continuing resurgence in turboprop demand, driven by growth in air traffic, rising fuel prices and a need on the part of regional airlines to cut costs and fares to compete with low-fare carriers. On that score, Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski praised Bombardier and ATR for not giving up on turboprops. “ATR and Bombardier stayed in the regional turboprop business while many of their competitors were dropping out, and they are now reaping the rewards of their perseverance,” he noted.    –