ATR, the European turboprop manufacturer based in Toulouse, published a new Market Forecast (2018-2037) on July 2, 2018, where it estimates a market for 3,020 turboprop aircraft over 2770 new routes in the next 20 years. The estimated value could amount to more than $80 billion.

According to ATR, the expected demand for turboprops over the next two decades “confirms their healthy position in the up-to-90-seat regional market”. Since 2010, turboprops have represented 50% of the total sales in this segment.

The key driver for this positive outlook is traffic growth in regional connectivity, both in traditional markets where less connected locations are being connected with direct regional new routes, and in emerging markets where turboprop air links is the most viable solution for transporting both passengers and cargo.  

In ATR 2018-2037 market forecast, nearly 80% (2,390 aircraft) of the total demand is expected to come from the 61-80 seat category. The remaining 20% (630 aircraft) will come from the 40-60 seat market.

The largest demand is expected to come from Asia (43%), followed by Europe, Africa and Middle East (31%) and the Americas (26%).

In addition to passenger aircraft, ATR estimates that the increase of freight traffic will generate a potential for the delivery of 460 turboprop freighters. This includes converted aircraft as well as the recently launched ATR 72-600F.

Route creation & traffic growth

Regional aviation is growing, with 58% of the current regional networks worldwide having been created over the last 15 years. The growth of regional routes has been particularly intense in the period 2012 – 2017, with an annual average of over 100 new routes created, and 155 new routes in 2017. Today, turboprops operate half of flights below 330 nm.. “ATRs are particularly reputed for their eco-efficiency, featuring a fuel consumption of up to 45% less than regional jets and 30% less than competing turboprop,” notes the manufacturer.

Based on their current and recent experience in opening new routes, ATR estimates that turboprop aircraft have the potential to generate 2,770 new routes in the 20 years to come. During this period, regional traffic is expected to grow annually at a pace of 4.5%, with around 30% of the traffic in 2037 coming from routes that do not currently exist.

ATR (Avions de transport régional or Aerei da Trasporto Regionale) is a joint partnership between French Airbus and Italian Leonardo, established in 1981. It is based in Toulouse, France, and manufactures two families of turboprop aircraft, the ATR-72 and the ATR-42, with respective capacities of 70 and 50 seats.