Aftermarket Regional Resilience

StandardAero CF34
The CF34 is one of the dominant engines in the regional aftermarket segment.
Credit: StandardAero

Although travel restrictions have hammered medium- and long-haul flying, domestic flights are still possible in many countries, which has meant less pain for regional operators and their associated aftermarket.

For example, turbofans and turboprops for regional aircraft are not expected to suffer such precipitous dips in maintenance spending as for widebody and narrowbody engines. 

For 2021, Aviation Week’s 2021 Fleet & MRO Forecast predicts total regional engine maintenance demand of $4 billion, rising to a peak for the decade of $5.1 billion in 2024. Thereafter comes a decline before spending picks up the late 2020s.

The regional aftermarket is dominated by the PW100 turboprop and the CF34 turbofan. The latter is expected to account for 55% of MRO demand in 2021 and 59% in 2026. The PW100 family, meanwhile, will take about 25% in 2021 and the same again in 2026.

Prior to the pandemic, Aviation Week predicted combined maintenance demand for the two engine families of $3.1 billion in 2020. That may not be achieved due to a big drop in passenger numbers this year, but the most recent forecast for a combined $3.3 billion of demand in 2021 shows that recovery is expected to be quick.

In-service numbers also show the two types in the lead, with the CF34 accounting for 35% of regional jet engines in 2021 and the PW100 accounting for 29%.
However, unlike other engine classes, Aviation Week expects a gradual decline in total regional engine numbers through the 2020s.

Furthermore, PW100 numbers are expected to overtake the CF34 count, primarily due to PW1000G models eating into the latter’s market share as they are introduced on regional aircraft such as the Embraer E2 line.

For more detail about the next 10 years of maintenance spending, see the Engine Yearbook 2021, available very soon.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.