Plane manufacturer ATR, the equal-partnership joint venture between France’s Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo, has announced its projections for the future demand of its turboprop commercial aircraft.
At a value in excess of US$80 billion, the projected demand exceeds 3,000 new turboprop planes over the next twenty years.
The expected demand for turboprops confirms their healthy position in the up-to-90-seat regional market. Since 2010, turboprops have represented 50% of the total sales in this segment where ATR is the preferred choice of regional airlines.
The key driver for this positive outlook is traffic growth in regional connectivity. This comes from both traditional markets where less connected locations are being connected with direct regional new routes, as well as from emerging markets where the most viable solution for connecting people and transporting goods is turboprop air links.
In the 2018-2037 market forecast, nearly 80% (2,390 aircraft) of the total demand is expected to come from the 61-80 seat category, a market segment served for years by the ATR 72. The remaining 20% (630 aircraft) will come from the 40-60 seat market, a segment where the ATR 42, the only 50-seat aircraft available new on the market, provides strong potential for the up gauge of 30-seat, and the replacement of 50-seat, regional aircraft.
Over the next 20 years, the largest demand for turboprops is expected to come from Asia (43%), followed by Europe, Africa and Middle East (31%) and the Americas (26%).
Beyond passenger aircraft, ATR estimates that the increase of freight traffic will generate a potential for the delivery of 460 turboprop freighters over the next two decades. This includes converted aircraft as well as the recently launched ATR 72-600F, the only regional cargo aircraft available straight from factory.