Turboprops have had a good year in 2017. We take a look at the market and provide some insights to be found in the data.
The turboprop market is big but not as exciting, perhaps, as the single-aisle market. We can see that the number of parked aircraft has risen from about 9% of the fleet to over 16%. Does this indicate something odd going on?
Reviewing the parked aircraft we find that they average over 20 years old. Because of OEM changes, there is another pattern: parked aircraft reflect the state of the OEM’s fleet. BAe, Embraer, Fairchild/Dornier, Fokker, and SAAB are all out of this market. Moreover, the number of parked aircraft vary by world region.
Looking at the more recent history, we can see how the departure from the market has impacted the in-service fleet. Turboprops, despite being workhorses, don’t die easily. In 2015 the in-service fleet average age was 19.7 years and as of 3Q17, the in-service fleet averaged 19 years.
Taking a look at the in-service fleet as of 3Q17, we find the following.
Asia/Pacific and the EU are the primary markets for turboprops. North America (combining Canada and the USA) creates the third biggest market. The CIS and the Middle East do not look like promising places to trade. (Which begs a question about the GE and UEC deal, doesn’t it?) Africa and Latin America look promising though.
These could be exciting times for OEMs though. The table lists in-service aircraft. The light blue columns show models no longer in production. Eventually, even these need to be parked and replaced.
Is there any surprise that Embraer is pondering a comeback? Looking at the wide range of aircraft sizes that fall into this market, it would seem the focus on 90-seaters may not be the best place to look. There are literally hundreds (about 43% of the market) of 30-50 seaters that need replacing, and you do not need to make as tough a business case as you do with 90-seaters.