Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2011 Contents 12 AsianAviation | APRIL 2011
Ian Goold / London
Mixed fortunes for BAe 146 applications
The long-term commercial
relationship between BAE
Systems Regional Aircraft
(BAERA) and Cobham
Aviation Ser vices Australia is
strengthening , a er the operator
exercised options to buy a BAe 146-100 and a larger
The Adelaide-based airline, which had been
leasing the four-engined regional jets from the
UK company, has also added four more BAe 146s
and Avro RJs to its eet. e latest machines bring
Cobham s 146/RJ eet to 17 aircra that are used
for corporate-shuttle contracts with multinational
mining companies and to perform overnight freight
ights on behalf of Australian Air Express on the
country s eastern seaboard.
e 146-100 and its similarly sized variant, the
Avro RJ, are seen as ideal for operations from gravel
and other unprepared airstrips in Australia.
" e 146 has a competitive advantage over low-
wing aircra and rear-engined [machines], due to
the position and small diameter of its engines and
the [wing] ground clearance," says BAERA.
e company s asset-management business saw
"another strong portfolio performance" in 2010,
with 52 aircra being placed -- eight more than in
2009. Sales and marketing senior vice-president
Steven Doughty reports "a very signi cant volume
of activity" across all portfolios -- passenger, freight,
corporate/VIP, air-tanker, and military applications.
He says BAERA needs to "establish a reputation
for doing with other aircra what we do with BAE
designs". In February, BAERA was o ering 16 third-
party aircra for sale or lease.
e 52 placements last year included 41 passenger
aircra , which BAE estimates to have provided a
75 percent market share. Multiple deals involving
BAe 146s, in addition to Cobham, involved new
customers in Africa, Europe, and North America.
Latin America and south-east Asia are said to have
become increasingly important.
In addition, seven Jetstream 32 and Jetstream 41
turboprops were placed in 2010, including a pair of
J32s with New Zealand s Air National.
New regional-jet business announced in February
covered a former Eurowings 146-200 acquired by
Aerolineas Star Peru, expanding its 146 eet to
nine aircra . e "rapidly growing" airline, which
began international operations during 2010, has 14
percent of the Peruvian market. In Europe, Britain s
Titan Air ways acquired an ex-British Air ways Avro
RJ100 that has joined an existing eet of three 146-
200QCs and a 146-200QT, while Swiss Airlines has
extended its lease of six Avro RJs, which Doughty
says will be operated "for a number of years yet".
BAERA is hoping to see its eet of almost 30
idle jet aircra "signi cantly reduced" during 2011,
when it expects to see far fewer leased machines
returned. Typically, it has a pool of 40-50 aircra
available from its 150-strong portfolio.
e company opened last year with its entire
turboprop portfolio -- three J32s, 22 J41s and 21
ATPs --placed and saw only a small number of
scheduled lease returns, leaving it with "a limited
number" of aircra available in 2011. Transactions
closed during 2010 included: the extension of two
J41 leases with Airlink, the "o -lease" sale of four
J32s to Air National and SAP, and the extension of
one ATP Freighter with West Air.
New 2011 turboprop business announced in
February covered: the "o -lease" purchase of four
J41s by Colombia s Easy Fly, which also has acquired
a further machine in a third-party deal brokered by
BAERA, and the sub-leasing of a J41 by Sky Express
of Crete (bringing its eet to ve examples).
In the cargo market, Doughty reports BAE
RA having had "a really tough time" in the
recent recession. One BAe 146-300QT freighter
conversion was completed in mid-2010 (for lease
to Cobham Aviation Ser vices Australia) and a
further 146-200QT remains available, but no more
"The economics of regional freight remain
challenging [and the] market does not justify any
further speculative conversions," according to
Doughty. e ATP Freighter eet remains "subject
to long-term commitments" with West Atlantic.
BAERA is going to "push really hard" this year
with executive conversions of the Avro RJ, says
Doughty. e company has seen a "very positive"
market response to its "signi cant marketing e ort
It has launched its Explorer and Fusion concepts,
which are seen as "fundamental in generating market
interest and awareness", with further revelations
planned for this year. With "around 25" BAe 146/
Avro RJs remaining in ser vice worldwide in various
business or executive roles, including corporate
shuttle types placed in 2010, Doughty says that the
challenge now is market exploitation. n
Cobham Aviation Services is strengthening its relationship
with BAE Systems Regional Aircraft.
'BAERA is going to "push really hard" this year with executive
conversions of the Avro RJ.'
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