Operators Will Prefer Smaller Aircraft: Bombardier Forecast

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s 20-year Market Forecast for the 60- to 150-seat segment projects a strong market outlook, according to the manufacturer.

“We are the only manufacturer with a solution for any type of business model in the 60- to 150-seat segment, and we are well positioned to capture the value from the exciting opportunities outlined in this Market Forecast,” said Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “In addition to showing general market dynamics, our forecast focuses on how airlines are changing the way that assets are evaluated. Airlines are shifting their primary metric for network and fleet optimization strategies from cost to profit.”

Based on 2017 list prices, Bombardier said the complete market is seen as 12,550 aircraft worth $820 billion. The company said the 100- to 150-seat segment will represent 70% of revenues, followed by the 60- to 100-seat segment with 5,750 deliveries worth $240 billion. According to the forecast, small regional aircraft segment erosion will have a rippling upgrading effect, in that large regional aircraft will continue to dominate short-haul routes while small single-aisle aircraft will increase point-to-point flying on short- to medium-haul sectors and allow airlines to fly new and thin routes at a profit. Bombardier predicts that by 2036, 86% of the current fleet in this segment will retire.

Bombardier predicts that airlines will consider taking smaller aircraft in the future. The Mart Forecast says that the traditional pursuit of reducing cost-per-seat with large aircraft is not necessarily yielding more profit for airlines. Revenue, Bombardier said, is only part of the “profitability equation.”

“A focus on cost-per-seat instead of yield-per-passenger have resulted not only in lower profits for airlines but also in poor passenger experience,” Bombardier said.

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