RAA2010: Turboprops withstanding recession well, says Saab

In his now-traditional regional airline market observations, Saab Aircraft Leasing president and CEO, Michael Magnusson, declared that turboprops in the 19-50 seat sector are weathering the recession better than jets in that sector.

“It’s probably aided by turboprops having a more dispersed fleet,” Magnusson noted. “The Avitas Blue Book Values show that the values of all four Saab models (340A, 340B, 340BPlus and 2000) have risen over the past two years.”

The downturn, however, did affect market activity for SAL in 2009. “We did 16 transactions, whereas we’re normally in the 20s,” Magnusson reported. “We’re looking to a more busy 2010 and so far we have done nine transactions.”

These comprise selling a Saab 340BPlus to Eznis Airways in Mongolia, selling a Saab 340A to SkyBahamas, Golden Air leasing another Saab 2000 bringing its fleet to eight, OLT extending two Saab 2000 leases, two Saab 2000 lease extensions by an unannounced operator plus two third-party remarketing deals in which two Saab 340A had their leases extended. SAL has also recently delivered the 25th and final Saab 340BPlus–WT to Regional Express (Rex) in Australia.

Since SAL began “managing down” the portfolio in 1999, that portfolio has fallen from 300 aircraft to the current 110 (17 Saab 2000s, four 340As and the rest 340Bs and 340BPluses).

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

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