One frequently hears the 100 seat segment is gone. Airlines are up-sizing we are told. And depending on the segment, we hear an equal number of arguments that airlines are right sizing. It seems the truth is somewhat hazy – don’t take as the final word somebody selling aircraft. They have a job that requires selecting the argument to support the deal in play.
Now take a look at this interesting story from Bloomberg. Throughout the story there is a thread – the 100 seat market has not gone away at all. We see airlines that use and seek these aircraft, specifically the 717, and they want more. And its not just the 717, Embraer is talking about production increases. Embraer is looking at the popularity of its E-175 in the US as well as other larger models beyond the US. The market from 76 to 100 seats is quite active it seems.
Our takeaway from this is that the 100 seat segment is more robust than many believe. Embraer ‘s order book speaks for itself as does the second had value of 717s. The market is also waiting for the CS100 to get going. As the E2 and CS100 catch their stride we expect to see the 717 fade.