During the Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2013 earlier this month, Teal Group Vice President of Analysis Richard Aboulafia delivered both good and bad news related to aerospace market trends.
The good news: The commercial aviation market segment continues its strong growth, with orders for passenger jets extending to 2018.
The bad news: The regional jet segment is suffering, with no end currently in clear sight.
The 50-seat and DC-9 regional jets have been a menagerie of bad ideas bouncing from small turboprops—no, wait, large turboprops—and on and on, according to Aboulafia. The DC family of regional jets is the worst he has seen in the market, especially when taking into consideration the ever-rising price of fuel, he adds.
There is some talk in the aerospace market of larger regional jets on the horizon from a variety of airframe manufacturers, including Bombardier, Embraer, BAE Systems, Fokker, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), ATR (the consortium of Alenia and EADS), Saab, and SuperJet. If they do end up making it into production, Aboulafia is of the opinion that it will be another of the bad ideas that have plagued the regional jet market segment.
When it comes to business and private aircraft in the general aviation segment, Aboulafia predicts a lot more players and more profits. As long as corporate profits rise, the business jet (bizjet) market will correspond accordingly, he explains.
Aboulafia also provided a breakdown of single-aisle jetliner delivers last year. Two single-aisle aircraft families–the Boeing 737-800 and the Airbus A320—represented 46 percent of 2012 deliveries, and 54 percent of deliveries from 2002 to 2011.
That wrap up this geek’s commercial aerospace report from IESF. Stay tuned for the military aerospace report coming up in April.