Bombardier is expecting its CRJ series to see an upsurge in orders in the coming years as the type rides a replacement wave for smaller regional jets.
“What we’re targeting there is first of all the entry into service of the new Atmosphere cabin, and a lot of the activity we suspect will be from replacement of regional jets and upgauging regional jets in the United States," says Colin Bole, senior vice-president of sales and asset management for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
At the Singapore air show, a number of regional jet manufacturers have opined that 2017 was a low in the order cycle for regional jets, and that there will be an upswing over the next few years. This is an assessment that Bole agrees with.
“I think we’re right at the point of inflection where we’re about to hit that next wave of replacements,” he says, adding that the orders for CRJs tend to be large in number but from a smaller operator base.
He adds that if a flurry of orders emerges, its production line is able to ramp up to meet the added demand.
“The CRJ assembly line is extremely sophisticated in terms of its adaptability to the cycle and our ability to ramp up and ramp down,” he says.
In contrast to the CRJ, orders for its Q400 turboprop are expected to come in smaller batches from more operators.
Bole says Asia is a major target for Q400 sales this year, following the success of selling 25 high-density configured aircraft, plus 25 options, to Indian carrier SpiceJet last year.