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India is a market that has been attractive for OEMs for many years.  The following two charts explain why.  The first chart shows how strongly the domestic air travel market has grown.  Typically, passenger traffic doubles every 15 years – in India between 1995 and 2010 traffic grew by four times.  If we look back 15 years from 2015, traffic has grown by over fives what it was.

Just to provide some perspective – India’s railway network is the world’s fourth largest and in 2014 transported 8.4 billion passengers. For every Indian domestic air passenger in 2014, 138 passengers took a train. Continue reading

New England-based Cape Air is something of a unique airline.  Based in Massachusetts this airline flies 83 Cessna 402s. But it is an airline not limited to this region. It flies two ATR42 in Micronesia, operates two Cessna Caravans in Florida and four Britten-Norman Islanders in the Caribbean in winter, bringing them to New England for the4 summer.    It has codeshare deals with American, jetBlue and United.  It also operates Essential Air Service flights. One can see why this is something of a unique operation. The airline is the largest independent regional.

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The core of the airline are its nine-seater 402s.  The last 402 was built in 1987.  Cape Air is, by far, the largest 402 operator.  But as one can imagine, the 402 is aging.  Given the ATR42 experience, we had thought ATR had a lead on the 402 replacement,… Continue reading

As the year-end approaches, we decided to see what an aircraft product forecast out to 2035 might look like for the key OEMs.  While this is very long term, given the stage we are at in the current order/delivery cycle, with numerous new aircraft just entering or soon to enter service.  It is a good time to peek out to the future, and determine when new programs are likely to enter the market.

The chart below lists programs that we know of, and when they might firm up and enter the market as viable offerings.  We’ve dotted the time frame when we believe significant changes are likely to occur.  Ours is an industry in which you must think eight or more years ahead when it comes to programs – it takes a while to determine if a product is viable, then an increasing window of time… Continue reading

Recently, Airbus Group and Siemens signed an agreement in which they agreed to collaborate on hybrid electric propulsion systems.   This is ground breaking, but should be seen in context – Airbus has been prominently displaying its tiny electric powered E-Fan aircraft at air shows for some time.  In the noise and roar at air shows, this silent flier is easily ignored as it is not heard.  But Airbus clearly has been thinking about this concept for some time.

The item that caught our attention was this: Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group said “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.”

This is a level of detail that has not been disclosed before.  It prompted a number of questions which we sent… Continue reading

It is well known that list prices for commercial aircraft are no guide to market pricing.  The list numbers are nowhere close to reality.

However, list prices do provide a useful guide to OEM market posture. List prices send signals to competitors even if competitors know that, ultimately, the customer will grind vendors down to the bone.  Let’s take a look at the commercial aircraft business and compare list pricing and seat capacity. Continue reading

ATR, the European turboprop maker, is touring the United States and Canada with an ATR72-600.  This is their top of the line model.  The aircraft is powered by P&WC PW127 engines.  A revised version of that engine is now in use by Avianca, the PW127N, which provides more hot and high power.

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We met the aircraft and ATR team in Charlotte, where the aircraft is on display to attendees of the annual RAA conference.  RAA airlines are among the primary targets for the aircraft.  To date, the market has been either using old turboprops or deploying the ATR’s competitor, the Q400. The new ATR can also effectively compete with 50-seater regional jets ATR claims. Continue reading

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