$80bn forecast for global turboprop market

ATR is forecasting demand for 3,000 new turboprops over the next 20 years, equating to a market value of over US $80 billion.

The manufacturer says turboprops have the potential to generate 2,770 new routes over the next two decades, with regional traffic over this period expected to grow annually at 4.5%. Approximately 80% of the new routes will be generated by emerging markets. Around 30% of air traffic in 2037 will be made up of routes that do not currently exist, it adds.

The company’s latest market forecast for the period 2018-2037 predicts a total of 3,020 turboprop deliveries in the up-to-90-seat regional market, contributing to a forecast total of 4,060 that will be in service in 20 years’ time. That consists of 1,800 deliveries due to new market growth, 1,220 for replacements, and 1,040 currently operating aircraft that will still be in service.

Since 2010, turboprops have represented half of the total sales in this segment, in which ATR currently has an approximately 75% market share.

Nearly 80% (2,390 aircraft) of the total forecast demand is expected to come from the 61-80 seat category, a segment served for years by the manufacturer’s ATR 72. The remaining 20% (630 aircraft) will come from the 40-60 seat market, covered by its ATR 42. The company says that there is “strong potential” for the up-gauging of aircraft from 30-seaters to its 50-seater, as well as the expected continued replacement of older 50-seat regional aircraft.



The largest demand during the forecast period is unsurprisingly expected to come from Asia-Pacific, SE Asia and China (a combined 43% of the global total), with Asia-Pacific the single largest market at 740 deliveries. The next largest is Latin America and Caribbean with 420 forecast deliveries. Europe, Africa-Middle East and North America each have forecast demand for 350 aircraft, China has 300, SE Asia 260 and Central Europe-CIS a total of 250 deliveries.

Longer-term, ATR says the regional aviation sector has experienced “outstanding development” over the past 15 years, with 58% of current regional networks worldwide created in that time. Growth has been particularly intense between 2012-2017, with ATR directly involved in creating an annual average of over 100 new routes. Last year saw a record 155 new routes established.

Turboprops currently operate half of the short-haul flights below 330 nm globally but, if the jet-dominated United States market is excluded, that distance rises to nearly 600 nm for half of all flights operated.

Of ATR’s turboprops in service, 82% fly less than 250 nm while the longest – a route flown by Air Tahiti – is just over 2,800 km in distance (a three and a half hour flight). That same airline also operates the shortest current ATR flight time of just seven minutes.

ATR adds that 36% of all commercial airports (a total of 3,800) rely exclusively on turboprops.


Written by: Mark Thomas

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