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.
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
ATR, the world’s largest maker of commercial turboprops, is trying to reenter the North American market. This past week the company has been showing off its latest iteration, the ATR72-600 in Canada. This is part of a two week sales tour of North America.
The aircraft outsells the competing Bombardier Q400 everywhere, except North America. Consequently the company is bringing their aircraft to the market for a “show & tell”. Next week the airplane goes to the Regional Airlines Association annual conference, where both trade press and airlines will get a chance for a first hand look.
ATR didn’t shrink back from showing their aircraft right in Bombardier’s backyard. Hope may spring eternal, but the ATR is cheaper than the Q400 and for virtually every airline, that is all that matters.
North American airlines, like WestJet, we understand, selected the Q400 over the ATR because of the Q’s performance. The… Continue reading
India has long been a promising market for commercial aviation. Limitations have come from infrastructure (too few airports) and an interfering government. Another source of difficulty for India’s hard-pressed airlines has been fuel prices. Airlines face a myriad of taxes on fuel. Sometimes this could mean paying up to 50% more for fuel than in competing markets. Fortunately the decline in oil prices have given the industry a boost. Fuel charges constitute 50-60% of the total operating costs for Indian airlines. For members of The Association of European Airlines members fuel costs are at 33% of operating costs.
We have looked at this market before and still think India is ripe for more turboprops. India taxes fuel for jets differently than for turboprops. The latter are fortunate that they much less for fuel. This should be a big incentive to add turboprops to fleets.
Consequently it is with… Continue reading
Industry talk about the need for a 90-seat turboprop is well known. Both of the principal OEMs, ATR and Bombardier, have not rushed to develop something new. As we have heard both OEMs say at ISTAT – the business case for developing a new aircraft isn’t there.
Today Bombardier announced their Q400 can now seat 90. The company estimates the 12 to 14 additional seats deliver ~$8m in extra value to customers. Further boosting the aircraft, Bombardier also announced a 2,000 lb-increase in payload and an escalation of the A-Check and C-Check intervals from 600/6,000 to 800/8,000 flight hours, all available for entry-into-service as early as 2018.
Previously the maximum seating on the Q400 was 86 on Nok Air.