Bombardier Aerospace expects turboprops to account for a larger slice of the regional aircraft market in the next 20 years.

The manufacturer’s latest 20-year forecast assumes the share of turboprop deliveries during the period will rise to 48% from the current 45%, says Mairead Lavery, Bombardier’s VP for strategy, business development and structured finance. Regional jets account for the remainder. The forecast does not expect new entrants in the turboprop market, which is currently split between Bombardier and ATR.

The Canadian manufacturer expects a total of 12,800 regional aircraft deliveries in the 20- to 149-seat size range through 2031, which will increase the global fleet in that category to 17,000 aircraft in 20 years, when retirements are considered. This is a decrease of 300 units compared with the previous forecast, mainly driven by lower world GDP growth and higher oil prices.

Accounting for 71% of regional aircraft revenue, the 100- to 149-seat segment will be the largest by far, says Bombardier. The manufacturer expects to provide more than 50% of the airframes for that market, Lavery tells reporters during a pre-Farnborough briefing.

Lavery sees opportunities from the relaxation of scope clauses and the replacement of older regional jet fleets, some of which now average more than 20 years of age. The strong growth of middle classes in emerging markets also will lead to higher demand in regions where Bombardier has not had much presence historically. The impact of high-speed rail on aircraft demand is limited to China and France, she says, adding that Bombardier’s forecast takes that into account.