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commercial aviation is expected to be significant,"
Karlsson says. "In fact, we have already started to
see a significant growth in regional aircraft demand
in Asia over the last five years."
"With open-skies policies, improved support
infrastructure and expanding middle-class consumer
spending, air travel will no longer be a luxury in Asia.
The requirement for point-to-point markets service
and higher frequencies will be increased, resulting in
higher demand for regional aircraft," he adds.
China is clearly a key market in the region, with
huge growth potential, but faces some unique
regulatory and infrastructure challenges.
"Airports and air traffic control system capacity
are major brakes on the growth of commercial
aviation in China," Karlsson says. "In addition,
current commercial airspace limitations, aircrew
shortages and other factors have favoured the use
and purchase of larger jets, resulting in congested
airspace around China's largest urban centres."
To develop its domestic air transport system,
China "will need to build aggressively and equip
a significant number of new airports -- some to
relieve air-traffic congestion in heavily populated
and travelled areas, and still more to develop and
extend economic and social links to more remote
parts of the country", the Bombardier official says.
As the regional aviation infrastructure develops in
the country, this will stimulate demand for 60- to 90-
seat aircraft, as well as for pilots, technicians and an
effectively expanded air traffic control system.
Aircraft with 100 to 149 seats are expected to
comprise 63 per cent of deliveries in China over the
next 20 years, followed by the 36 percent share for
60- to 99-seat aircraft and just 1 percent for aircraft
with 20 to 59 seats.
Bombardier, serving all three of those market
segments, says it is "strategically positioned to
support China's booming air transport network".
China's relatively low requirement for smaller regional
aircraft is reflected in the market as a whole.
According, to Bombardier's Karlsson, the 20-
to 59-seat segment of the market is expected to
shrink by approximately 66 percent over the next
20 years, from about 3,600 aircraft in 2012, to just
1,200 by 2031. "The 300 expected deliveries in this
segment will be more than offset by 2,700 expected
retirements," he says
Throughout the industry, operators are increasingly
favouring larger regional aircraft, in response
to the rise in fuel prices. "Regional airlines are
gradually anchoring their business models around
large regional aircraft in the 60- to 99-seat
segment, both turboprops and jets," Karlsson adds.
Bombardier's Brazilian rival Embraer agrees, but still
sees a niche for smaller regional aircraft.
"The 30 to 60-seat capacity segment has been
impacted by high fuel prices and a weak revenue
environment, mainly in North America, where some
70 percent of 50-seat jets are in service," Embraer
says. "However, this category will continue to link
low-mid density markets to hubs and to help develop
the much needed regional aviation in emerging
Embraer, too, has been actively pursuing more
business in Asia, in December naming Ji'nan-
based Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering
(STAECO) as its Authorized Service Centre for
the Chinese airline market. STAECO will provide
line and heavy maintenance for the company's
family of E-Jets operating in the country.
"The cooperation with STAECO, one of the major
MRO providers in China, is the result of Embraer's
continuous efforts to improve its customer services
and support to the Chinese market," said Siu
Ying Yeung, chief operating officer of Embraer's
Embraer (China) Aircraft Technical Services unit.
Embraer says its fleet and customer based
has experienced "steady growth" and that the
manufacturer is constantly strengthening its
customer-service and support capability in the
country. In October 2010, Tianjin Airlines became
Embraer's Authorized Service Centre for the ERJ
145 and the E190 regional jets.
Since the inauguration of the manufacturer's
regional office in China in 2000, the fleet of
Embraer aircraft in the country has expanded to
121 commercial jets, including 75 E190 jets.
"The Chinese regional aviation market will be
responsible for 15 percent of the world deliveries
of 61 to 120-seat jets in the next 20 years," the
manufacturer says. The company forecasts demand
in China for 1,005 new jet deliveries in this size
category up to 2031, comprising 455 61- to 90-seat
jets and 550 in the 91- to 120-seat range.
Embraer says that over the next 20 years "the centre
of gravity for aviation will move eastward, most
notably to Asia and, to some extent, southward to
The fastest growth over the period will come in the
Middle East, where demand in revenue passenger
kilometres (RPKs) will expand at 7.2 percent per
annum, followed by China and Latin America -- both
with 7 percent annual growth, and the remainder of
the Asia-Pacific region at 5.8 percent.
"By 2031, Asia-Pacific and China will be the largest
markets in the world, accounting for 34 percent of
world RPKs. Europe and North America will follow
at 21 percent of RPKs each," the manufacturer
"The Chinese regional aviation market
will be responsible for 15 percent of
the world deliveries of 61 to 120-seat
jets in the next 20 years." - Embraer
Brazil's Embraer has been grabbing its share of the Asia-Pacific regional aircraft market.
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