Sukhoi venture sees 20-year demand for 5,900 regional jets

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Russian airframer Sukhoi's marketing venture estimates a global demand for almost 5,900 regional jets in the 30- to 120-seat range over the next two decades.

Most of these, some 3,700 in total, will be in the highest-capacity sector covering 91-120 seats - a sector accounting for 60% of all regional jets by 2031, says Superjet International.

In a newly-released global forecast it states that another 2,050 deliveries will be intermediate jets with 61-90 seats, leaving demand for fewer than 150 aircraft with 60 seats and below.

Superjet International markets the 95-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100.

It states that North America accounts for 52% of the current flying regional fleet but this proportion will "dramatically drop" to 31% over the 20-year period.

Europe's portion will stay relatively flat at 25% but China's fraction, however, will rise from 3% to 12%. Even though the regional jet market in China is "still quite small" compared with that for narrowbodies, says the forecast, China will still need just over 700 jets, equally split between the two highest seat categories.

There will also be increases in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

The forecast says the potential regional demand is "very high" in India, with half the routes opened in the last three years having an average aircraft size below 110 seats. Many aircraft with 50-120 seats in the Asia-Pacific region are ageing and "need to be replaced", it adds.

North America will account for nearly 1,900 deliveries, with a focus on larger types if scope clauses are relaxed, while some 1,750 will be bound for Europe.