The regional jet market has been a duopoly for a long time, with Bombardier and Embraer being the biggest, and often, the only suppliers. Mitsubishi is entering the market but seems a few years away still – rumors suggest their program might see EIS slip and year or two.
Meanwhile there is potentially a new player eying the market.
Turkey has long had aerospace ambitions. There is even talk of building a fighter. At the center of all Turkey’s aerospace ambitions is Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Collaborating with Ukraine’s Antonov, TAI hopes to enter the commercial aerospace world. Previous dalliances with Bombardier and Embraer led nowhere. Antonov is is in a different position than Bombardier and Embraer. Antonov has been facing great difficulties. Consequently Antonov is an aerospace OEM looking for opportunities. A deal with TAI might be just the opportunity it needs to get funding and develop its business.
There are no details other than a 120-seat aircraft is planned. In terms of a timeline, a deal is expected to be signed in March. In terms of what the aircraft might look like, we expect a version of the 99-seat AN-158 could be stretched to seat 120. Turkey seems to be making lots of plans for 2023, their centennial year. This might be the target year announced in March.