ATR sees need for 3,000 turboprops over next 20 years

Over the next 20 years there will be a requirement for almost 3,000 turboprops with a value around $70 billion, forecasts ATR.

Of those 3,000 aircraft, 40% will be replacements and 60% will be for growth, remarked the company’s CEO Filippo Bagnato during ATR’s annual results press briefing. The replacements will be for old turboprops and also for 50-seat RJs, “which are becoming less and less economical”.

Reviewing the current situation, Bagnato said that in 2011 there will be “a positive trend with older generation aircraft being removed from fleets”. Fuel is expected to be around $110/barrel in the near future, caused, according to Bagnato, by the growth of the BRIC countries and their increasing requirements for fuel, which is helping to push up the price.

Traffic-wise, Bagnato reported that in comparing the market before the financial crisis (06-07) and the current situation, there is an increase in passengers of approximately 3%. “So today traffic is a little bit better than before the crisis,” he commented.

Turboprops in general have been performing well in the market, Bagnato added. Against regional jets in the 30-70 seat market, sales in 2010 were 76% TPs and 24% RJs. In the 50-90 seat market, sales were 69% turboprop vs 31% RJ, with respective deliveries being 64% vs 36%. The respective backlogs are now 3 to 1 in favour of turboprops (230 vs 77 actual orders).

ATR says it has taken 59% of turboprop orders over the 2005-2010 period while in 2010 alone, it had 65% of turboprop sales. “Of the overall turboprop backlog, ATR has 70% compared with Bombardier’s 30%. And the aim is to maintain around 60% of the future market,” Bagnato declared, while acknowledging that the manufacturer’s list prices have just increased by 3%.

Bernie Baldwin
Editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/

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