IBA Group believes it is “too early” to judge what impact SAS' decision to remove up to 27 Q400s from its fleet will have on aircraft values.
“We tend not to make an assessment until there is an outcome to the investigation. I suspect the grounding may be a tactical effort by SAS to leverage their position with financiers and the manufacturer,” says Phil Seymour, MD, IBA Group.
Seymour says he is not aware of any specific transactions that would be regarded as evidence for a reduction in current market values (CMV).
“Although I can see why the bad press could cause a negative impact, this could turn into an airline maintenance matter,” say Seymour. “Frankly, this seems unprecedented for an airline to attack a manufacturer in such a fashion. Imagine the outcry if a manufacturer said don't fly a particular airline because they can't maintain our aircraft correctly.”
Last week, Ascend told CAO that base values of Q400s are currently unaffected due to SAS’ decision, but market values would take a 10% hit across the board. Consequently, a 1998-vintage Q400, which carried a CMV in September of $11.8m is now estimated at $10.7m, according to Ascend. A 2007-vintage aircraft which was $20.7m is now $18.8m in CMV terms.
Ascend believes market lease rates for the Q400 are as yet unmoved, but may also be vulnerable depending on how exactly the Q400s are phased out of SAS inventory.