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BAE Systems Regional Aircraft reports 2009 performance

In 2009, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft placed 44 aircraft and completed 25 other deals – involving engine leases and sales plus lease-end adjustments – from its own portfolio, while closing eight aircraft sales and winning mandates to broker the sale of 42 aircraft as parrt of its Business Development activity.

Steve Doughty, senior vice-president of the company’s Asset Management division, reported that 23 of the aircraft placements had come in passenger markets. “There were also some significant short-term RJ extensions in Europe, emphasising the aircraft’s ability to continue as an interim capacity solution,” he remarked.

Doughty added that Regional Aircraft is currently placing emphasis on the Indonesian, South African and South American markets. “The BAe 146 market is fragmenting, with 13 placements last year with 11 different customers,” he explained.

This year provides Regional Aircraft with the opportunity to take some Avro RJ85s to the market as 13 aircraft are coming out of Lufthansa between now and 2012. Additionally eight former British Airways Avro RJ100s are becoming available as the carrier transitions to an all Embraer E-Jet fleet by June this year.

“One advantage of having these fleets coming to us is that we’ll be able to market full turnkey solutions for operators rather than following a ‘tail-by-tail’ marketing strategy,” Doughty commented. “However, if a customer came with money to buy an aircraft from these fleets, I’d take it. You can’t wait for someone to come along and buy a whole fleet and an actual sale is valuable. And actually, it tends to hurry up those who are debating a number of aircraft acquisitions,” he added.

The company’s freighter market business achieved 11 placements last year, with the ATP idle fleet being reduced to zero. This includes new announcements for the lease of three additional E-Class ATPFs from West Air and the purchase by US carrier Regional One of one ATPF. These four aircraft have already been delivered by BAE Systems.

Meanwhile, no further BAe 146 conversions have been done other than one -200 and one -300 which await buyers. “The market went into freefall just as those conversions were being completed, but we believe they’ll find buyers soon and we won’t be converting any more without orders,” Doughty remarked.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net

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