For once, aviation heavyweights Airbus and Boeing stood in the shadows as smaller manufacturers such as Embraer, Bombardier and ATR took the spotlight at the recent Singapore Airshow.
The tier-2 aircraft makers signed orders worth more than USD5 billion for their regional jets and turboprops at Asia’s leading aviation marketplace headlined by a landmark deal for Embraer’s E-Jet E2.
The Wall St Journal reports that the surge in orders for commuter aircraft with less than 130 seats speaks to a new trend in Asia where carriers are looking to open up new city pairs previously considered uneconomic by airlines using larger aircraft.
It cites Nok Air CEO Patee Sarasin, who said the Thai carreier had decided to use both large and small aircraft in its fleet so “that it could create create new routes and then dominate them by being the first mover”.
The biggest order, worth USD2.94 billion, was placed by new Indian carrier Air Costa for 50 Embraer E-Jet E2 jets with capacity between 98 and 118 seats.
Bombardier, based in Canada, received new orders and commitments for 17 aircraft while European manufacturer ATR sold 48 aircraft worth USD1.2 billion.
In contrast, Boeing and Airbus announced just one deal between – Nok Air bought 15 single-aisle Boeing 737s.