Bombardier forecasts 20-year jump for turboprop deliveries, but regional jet demand declines

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Bombardier has cut 300 units from its 20-year market forecast of commercial aircraft deliveries in the 20-149 seat market sector as the global financial outlook worsens.

But the Montreal airframer's new 20-year forecast also anticipates a 400-unit jump in deliveries for turboprops under 100 seats, reflecting a surge in US government forecasts for the average cost of oil.

The commercial aircraft market forecast anticipates overall deliveries of 12,800 turboprops and jets worth a combined $630 billion in the sector below 150 seats from 2012 to 2031.

Compared to last year's forecast, Bombardier's prediction for deliveries between 60 and 99 seats dropped the most. The Montreal-based airframer now anticipates 5,600 aircraft deliveries in that category, or 200 less than last year's forecast.

In the 100 to 149-seat category, Bombardier predicts there will be 100 fewer aircraft deliveries compared with last year's forecast. The new forecast lists 6,900 aircraft deliveries in the sector that includes the Bombardier 110 to 145-seat CSeries family, which is still in development.

Bombardier also forecasts no change for the 20 to 59-seat sector with 300 aircraft deliveries through 2031.

The overall 2.3% reduction in anticipated aircraft deliveries by Bombardier is blamed on a reduced forecast for gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Adminstriation (EIA) has issued a preliminary forecast that includes a $20 jump in the average cost of fuel over the next years, with average prices rising from $107 per barrel in last year's forecast to $127 per barrel this year.

As a result, Bombardier expects demand for turboprops to soar within the overall aircraft delivery forecast. Bombardier now anticipates delivering about 2,832 turboprops over the next 20 years, representing 48% of the overall market for 60 to 99-seat aircraft. In last year's forecast, the airframer predicted there would be deliveries of about 2,500 turboprops from 2011 to 2030.