The commercial turboprop market remains essentially a two-horse race between ATR and Bombardier. The story is interesting. The chart below shows the order history for both models since 2000. ATR had a bumpy start but has done exceptionally well since 2004, albeit with much more volatile swings in its order book.
The list prices for the aircraft are different, and the ATR72-600 trades at a 17.3% discount compared to the Q400. As is well known, list prices bear no resemblance to the prices at which orders actually occur. But the gap is important to note.
The chart illustrates why this is important. Although the “list” gap is over 17% in favor of the ATR72-600, professional appraiser values show that a 2013 model of each aircraft in service this year only sees a 2.7% value difference, in favor of the Q400. Looking out to 2024, the gap moves to… Continue reading
Russian airline, Transaero, deep in financial difficulties, was supposed to be taken over by Aeroflot. Turns out Aeroflot won’t be doing that because the company cannot get the 75%+1 share of Transaero it had expected. The takeover has fallen through.
Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters yesterday that the government will not allow the airline to even sell tickets. With its debts unable to be paid, and no state bailout, Transaero looks doomed. Yesterday a report in Russia said the state moved on a bankruptcy. The share price is down to 20 rubles (about $0.31). Could there be some shareholders holding out for something?
It would appear a power play is in the works. Aeroflot has no need to rush to rescue Transaero. Once the state withdrew a parachute, Transaero debt and shareholders were left hanging. Whereas they might have been given… Continue reading
Bombardier announced Okinawa-based Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd is the unidentified airline that had signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 turboprop airliners announced in July 2014. Based on the list price for the Q400 aircraft, the transaction is valued at about $168m. The Q400 combi aircraft offers up to 9,000lb. of cargo capacity and up to 1,150 cubic feet of cargo volume.
The image below was taken inside the first RAC combi two weeks ago and the sheer volume of the space is clear. The bulge on both sides is where the rear passenger door is located on the full passenger version. The cargo bay comes with independent fire suppression. The orange box to the right is a weight used to provide ballast on test flights.
RAC is a part of the Japan Airlines Group and is also the launch customer of the Q400 cargo-combi variant… Continue reading
Airbus’ A320neo fleet started flight tests outside France last month, with the LEAP-engined aircraft going to Bolivia and the GTF-engined aircraft going to the UAE. Airbus is pushing its tests hard because it has publicly said it will deliver its first aircraft by year end.
There are big kudos for accomplishing this. Making such a delivery is a poke at Bombardier and Boeing. That alone makes the pressure worthwhile. But along with the aggressive schedule comes risk.
The program has now comfortably exceeded its original target of 2,400 hours and we estimate the program is now at over 107% of the target. As the chart illustrates September was a slower month. But looking at the trend, it seems that August was a spike making September more consistent with the earlier months. Continue reading