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What About The Turboprops?

Turboprop MRO demand is markedly smaller than narrowbody and widebody markets but remains sizeable.

Aftermarket demand may be centered on the widebody and narrowbody segments over the next decade, but a smaller yet still significant amount of MRO spend is anticipated in the turboprop market.

According to Aviation Week’s 2018 Commercial Fleet and MRO Forecast, total turboprop MRO demand until 2027 is expected to measure at $4.5 billion, with roughly around a 5% share of the aircraft aftermarket.

The current market for larger turboprops is dominated by ATR and Bombardier aircraft, with Aviation Week data estimating 921 ATR 72s being in-service this year, while Bombardier has 539 of its Q400s.

European manufacturer ATR, which has edged ahead of its Canadian rival in terms of order backlogs and growing in popularity with leasing customer, stated last summer that by 2022 there will be almost 1,300 ATR 72s in service with overall MRO spend accounting for more than $1.5 billion.

As is the case with all aircraft segments, the majority of spend will center on engines. Maintenance in this area will account for nearly one third of that predicted demand comprised of engine maintenance at $1.7 billion by 2027.

Given the market dominance of the ATR 72 and the Bombardier Q400, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100, their engine option, will account for a large chunk of market spend.

The engine stalwart, which went into service with its first incarnation in 1984, accounts for roughly around 89% of the in-service regional engine fleet, according to its manufacturer.

Much of the order backlog for the engine type comes from the Asia-Pacific region (186 units), dwarfing demand from Eastern Europe (28) and Latin America (26).

An in-depth analysis of the engine MRO market will feature in the forthcoming Engine Yearbook and Aviation Week’s Aerospace & Defense issue.

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