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22/01/2024

Aircraft Values: Regional Aircraft Performance in 2023

There is strong potential for growth over the next decade in various regional aircraft markets due to the increase in travel demand, providing key opportunities for both OEMs and operators.  

With recent changes on the OEM side from the likes of Bombardier exiting the market, which regional aircraft have seen the strongest value performance, and which haven’t?  

 

Using data from IBA Insight, our aviation intelligence platform, as well as insights from our award-winning appraisal team, we deep dive into some of the final positions from the past year. 

 

Regional Jets 

Top Performer: Embraer E175LR

 

With the new generation Embraer E175-E2 still struggling to lock in any substantial orders from US carriers, and with most of the in-service regional fleet still being relatively young, the E175LR has been allowed to thrive almost unimpeded. Around 90% of the active fleet of E175LR operates in North America, where the E175-E2 has struggled to sell due to the scope clause dynamics in pilot contracts. 

 

Market Values for the Embraer E175LR have increased by a modest 3.5% in 2023, which can be attributed to the increased level of trading in the secondary market, as well as the aircraft type attracting new orders. While Embraer estimates its production to last until at least 2030, the OEM is already planning to increase production levels to meet the rising demand for capacity.  

Operators in emerging markets such as Africa and Asia are turning to the E175LR and putting faith in the aircraft for the establishment of their networks. For these reasons, the E175LR is our pick for the top regional jet performer in 2023.

Biggest Underperformer: Bombardier CRJ-200LR

 

Many large regional jet aircraft types have shown a strong value performance over the last year with recovering passenger demand; however, this value performance hasn’t been seen in small regional jets. The need for small regional jets has become more obsolete over time, with many carriers across the US retiring their fleets. Many airlines are upgauging their fleet with larger capacity aircraft, such as the larger Embraer jets, which provide lower costs per seat flown. 

 

For this reason, IBA has designated the Bombardier CRJ-200LR as the biggest underperformer in the regional jet market, evidenced by a decrease in Market Values of around 14%. The more modern design of the Embraer E-Jet family has also reduced the market favourability of older CRJ aircraft. 

Turboprops 

Top Performer: ATR72-600

 

The top performer in the turboprop segment is the ATR72-600, which has seen an average 8% increase in values in 2023 compared to the previous year. This rise in value can be attributed to the cheap cost of passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions available for the type, coupled with the OEM facing little competition in the turboprop market - the only other viable option being the older DHC8-Q400.  

 

The interest in the aircraft type has surged over the last year, especially among airlines in search of capacity to meet the current market demand. This has led to many existing operators opting not to return their aircraft at lease maturity and instead choosing to extend leases at higher Lease Rates. 

Biggest Underperformer: De Havilland Canada 8-Q400

 

No surprises here, the DHC8-Q400 is our pick for the biggest underperformer in 2023. With values down approximately 7% compared to 2022, the aircraft type has been plagued with an oversupply that has resulted from Flybe ceasing operations for a second time. The aircraft also has very high maintenance costs, further driving down the value performance of the aircraft type. The aircraft has a relatively high percentage of its fleet stored or parked, with around 1/3 of the fleet being stored because of overdue maintenance. However, IBA has seen an increased level of trading of the type during the last quarter of 2023.  

 

With many current operators trying to distance themselves from the type the Q400 will need to establish itself in new markets, otherwise the outlook for the ageing aircraft type will remain discouraging. 

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