Boeing Sees Regional Carriers Looking For Larger Aircraft

Boeing says some airlines may substitute regional jets with single-aisle aircraft.

Credit: Boeing

Economic factors and resource considerations are driving a shift in the regional jet market, according to Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP Darren Hulst.

The company’s 2023 Commercial Market Outlook, published June 17 ahead of the Paris Air Show, forecast a requirement for 1,810 regional jets below 100 seats over the next two decades, down by 15% on last year’s projection.

Hulst told ATW that the downward revision was being driven by a pilot shortage and increased demand for larger single-aisle aircraft.

“We anticipate that the pilot situation will resolve itself over time through the principles of supply and demand,” he said. “But the value proposition of larger jets becomes more compelling going forward. Market growth coupled with constraints in terms of slots, gates, and infrastructure prompts airlines to seek the most cost-effective capacity in the market.”

Hulst said that regional jets are not the lowest-cost in capacity, prompting airlines, especially in larger regional jet markets, to substitute them with larger or single-aisle aircraft.

“This enables them to achieve greater efficiency and meet capacity growth requirements,” he added.

However, Hulst said that despite the forecast demand drop, regional jets will continue to serve an important part of the market, particularly in small areas where essential air service is crucial.

The regional jet market will also be among the most affected by emerging aircraft technologies, such as electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles, he said.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.