A strong first quarter saw Saab Aircraft Leasing find new owners for 16 Saab aircraft from its portfolio of 289 machines.

These included two additional Saab 2000s to Carpatair of Romania, delivered in May and June; and two more of the type to Eastern Airways of the UK, delivered in March. Lenz-Power, an air charter company based in Majorca, Spain, purchased two Saab 340As, and two Saab 340s have been placed with IBC Airways in Miami, Florida.

Saab has also seen an enhanced interest in the cargo market with four aircraft sold in the last three months to RAF-AVIA of Riga, Latvia - with first delivery due in August. Furthermore, Saab Aircraft Leasing notes that all its Saab 340Bs have been phased back into service and are flying. Saab Aircraft Leasing services 25 customers in 13 countries.

"Turboprops are back in vogue and availability of used aircraft is falling," says Saab Aircraft Leasing president Michael Magnusson. "Europe continues to grow from strength to strength - just as the 50-seat regional jet reaches its peak, owing to higher unit cost and economics and escalating fuel prices." He adds: "It is difficult to disregard the economics of turboprops when you are paying $1.50 a gallon."

Source: Flight Daily News