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Monday, March 28, 2005

Will The 2004 Turboprop Bounce Repeat In 2005?

The role of the turboprop in regional aviation took a surprising bounce in 2004.

"There has been a steady decline in demand for turboprops over the past five years," said John Weber, a BACK Aviation Solutions vice president and analyst.

"On average, the number of deliveries of new turboprops declined by 15 percent year over year from 1999 thru 2003, from a total of 306 deliveries in 1999 to just 156 in 2003. The interesting thing is, in 2004 there was a reversal of this long-term trend and deliveries increased to 174 for the year, up 18 units, or more than a 10 percent increase.

"We are too early in the year to tell if this is a true reversal or a dead cat bounce - but it certainly will be interesting to watch," he said.

According to information compiled by BACK Aviation for Regional Aviation News, the 156 turboprop deliveries in 2003 was the lowest number in 10 years.

Turboprops continue to be built by a diversified manufacturing base, noted Frederick Roe, a BACK analyst. Fourteen companies built and delivered at least one turboprop aircraft last year, according to the BACK data.

Unlike regional jets where two companies by far dominate the Western world's production of RJs, at least four companies have a large slice of the turboprop pie: Raytheon [RTN], Cessna, Bombardier [BBD] and ATR.

The BACK survey included all aircraft capable of carrying at least nine passengers. With the exception of the aircraft built by Bombardier, ATR and Lockheed Martin [LMT], all of the other planes were small. "These planes are being picked up by a lot of different players," Roe said.

The 174 planes last year were delivered to 113 entities, which included airlines, governments and corporations.

The European regional carrier, Flybe, received the largest group of planes - eight Bombardier Q-400s. In fact only 12 organizations took delivery of more than one plane. These 12 accepted delivery of 41 planes.

By far, the largest activity remains the re-sale and leasing of older planes. Last year there were 2,175 transactions, including 1,181 re-sales, 765 leases and 226 planes returned. June was the busiest month with 219 transactions, and September was the slowest with 147 transactions.

FAA Forecast Predicts Drop

According to the recently released Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecast, in the next 12 years the number of turboprops in the U.S. regional fleet will drop by 181 planes.

Last year, there were 440 less-than-10-seat turboprops and by 2016, the FAA predicts, there will be 380 in this class. There were 642 mid-size turboprops, which carry from 10 to 40 passengers, last year. The fleet is expected to dip to 525 by 2016. The FAA predicts the most stable fleet will be the large turboprops, which can carry 40 to 72 passengers.

There are currently 96 planes in this class and the number is expected to drop by four in the next 12 years. The FAA expects to see older ATR turboprops replaced with the Q 400s. This largest class makes up 3.6 percent of the U.S. regional fleet. By 2016, this group will make up just 2.4 percent of the national fleet.

As recently as 2000, turboprops and piston-powered aircraft made up 75 percent of the regional fleet of 2,200 aircraft. In 12 years, the FAA said there will be a complete reversal, with RJs accounting for 75 percent of the fleet.

>>Contacts: John Weber, Frederick Roe, BACK Aviation Solutions, (203) 752-2000.<<

113 Entities Took 174 Turboprop Deliveries In 2004
Took Delivery Aircraft
Total
Able Aircraft Grand Caravan
1
Abu Dhabi Navy Casa 295
1
Aero Baires B300
1
Aerolineas Ejecutivas Catpass
2
Air Dolomiti ATR 72-500
2
Air Excursions B300
1
Air Jordan B300
1
Air New Zealand ATR 72-500
1
Air Tahiti ATR 42-500
2
All Nippon Airways Q 400
3
Andmar Air B300
1
Archer Daniels B300
1
Army Air Corps BN-2T Islander
1
Avalon Laboratories B300
1
Azerbaijan Airlines An-140
1
B. Gentry Acquisitions B300
1
B200 Air Charters Catpass
1
Bangkok Airways ATR 72-500
1
Bemis Manufacturing B300
1
Binter Canarias ATR 72-500
4
Blue Panorama Air P.180 Avanti
1
Capital Holdings 104 Grand Caravan
1
Caravan 208lb LLC Grand Caravan
1
Castle Aviation Grand Caravan
1
Coin Builders Aviation B300
2
Corporate Air Services Grand Caravan
1
CSA Czech Airlines ATR 42-500
3
Davis Development Catpass
1
DC Interests B300
1
Defense Surveillance Grand Caravan
1
Deltacore Charter Catpass
1
Dream Aviation Catpass
1
Energy East B300
1
ETS Laboratories B300
1
Euroskylink P.180 Avanti
1
EWC Aviation B300
1
Facchini Servicios . Catpass
1
Flybe Q 400
8
French Customs Reims-Cessna F406
2
Gomaco Catpass
1
Gorman-Rupp B300
1
Granite Development Catpass
1
Hampton Island Grand Caravan
1
Hawks Transportation B300
1
Health Systems B300
1
Hendricks Investment Grand Caravan
1
Horizon Airlines Q 400
1
Hunt Aviation Catpass
1
Indonesian Police M-28 Skytruck
1
Italian Air Force C-130
1
Italian Government P.180 Avanti
6
J.A. Aero Grand Caravan
2
Japan Air Commuter Q 400
1
King Air Catpass
1
Lincoln Aviation P.180 Avanti
1
Louisiana Aircraft Grand Caravan
1
Luihn Food Systems Catpass
1
Luther Aircraft B300
1
Mas Ventures I Grand Caravan
3
Mayesair Catpass
1
Medavia Do328
1
Meyer Enterprises B300
1
Midwest Jet B300
1
MMA Investments B300
5
Mustang Air Grand Caravan
4
Octoraro Aviation Grand Caravan
1
Offshore Energy B300
1
Pacific Coast Jet B300
7
Pakistan Air Force CN-235
1
Pakistan Maritime BN-2T Islander
1
Paraguayan Air Force Casa 212-300
1
Perdue Farms Catpass
1
Phelan & Taylor Grand Caravan
1
Polish Air Force Casa 295
1
Polish Air Force M-28 Skytruck
1
Polish Medical Air P.180 Avanti
1
Previti Brothers B300
1
Qantas Q 300
7
Redhawk Grand Caravan
1
Jordanian Air Force Casa 295
1
Royal Nepalese Army M-28 Skytruck
1
Royal Thai Navy Dornier 228
1
Rushton Air Grand Caravan
1
RWR II Catpass
1
Schenk, Christoph Grand Caravan
1
Schreiner Airways Q 300
1
Screaming Eagle Air B300
1
Silver Air B300
1
Skytech Grand Caravan
1
Skytraders Casa 212-300
2
Songbird Grand Caravan
1
Stafford Aviation B300
1
OH Dept. of Trans. Grand Caravan
1
Tenn. Dept. of Trans. Grand Caravan
1
Suncrest Farms Catpass
1
Tag Manufacturing Catpass
1
TCN Property P.180 Avanti
1
Teixeira Farms B300
1
Tenax Air B1900D
1
Timberline Aviation Grand Caravan
1
Tropic Air Grand Caravan
1
Tudor Investment Grand Caravan
1
Tunisian Air Force L410
1
United Fire & Cas. Catpass
1
US Air Force C-130
3
US Homeland Sec. Q 200
1
US Marine Corps C-130
1
Unknown Grand Caravan
4
Unknown Grand Caravan
6
Vietnam Air Force M-28 Skytruck
2
Viluco Properties Grand Caravan
1
Weaver Aero Grand Caravan
1
Western Express Air Grand Caravan
1
Westwind Aviation Grand Caravan
1
Wy. Dept. of Trans. Grand Caravan
1
Zamora-Quezada B300
1
Total 2004 Deliveries: 174
Source: BACK Aviation Solutions
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