Strong Demand for Large RJs is Keeping Regional Aircraft Manufacturers Smiling.

Manufacturers of regional aircraft experienced another robust year in 2007 as orders for larger RJs more than made up for the lack of sales for 50-seat RJs. The transition to 70/90-seat jets meant plenty of business for Bombardier and Embraer, while soaring fuel costs helped push sales of ATR 42/72 and Q400 turboprops to record levels. Anxious to enter the regional jet market within the next 12-24 months are new aircraft from Sukhoi of Russia and AVIC of China, while Mitsubishi of Japan plans to have its 70/90-seat Mitsubishi Regional Jet in service in 2013.

Inreased Demand for Regional Jets Means More Pilots are Needed