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The Humble Turboprop: The Most Resilient Aircraft Category During Covid-19

May 5, 2021

As aviation is fuelled by what we call “derived demand”, aviation is one of the most exposed industries – if not the most exposed – to macroeconomic shocks. Whilst over the last two decades or so our industry has faced multiple external shocks, from terrorist attacks to variable fuel prices and the worldwide financial crisis, <strong>unquestionably Coronavirus has been the ultimate test</strong> that we as an industry have faced over the last 100 years.

The Test Takers

Whilst every aviation sector has faced external pressures due to the very nature of the underlying demand, these external shocks have affected parts of our industry differently. Here at Deutsche Aircraft, we have taken a look at the amount of flying by aircraft types and their numbers in active service and in storage. We’ve grouped aircraft in the following broad groupings:

  • Turbo-props
  • Regional jets
  • Narrow bodies
  • Wide bodies

Who did Better in the Test

From the graphs below we can see the widely expected results, namely wide bodies taking most of the brunt as long-haul international travel was effectively stopped, followed by narrow bodies.

As expected, regional aircraft were more sheltered from the chaos – if such a thing exists during the current pandemic.

How so?

The regional flights enjoy the advantage of more flexible operational deployment. And the fact that many routes require small regional aircraft to fly to provide the essential life line for remote communities. Also, many of these airlines have started to “downgauge” some routes previously flown by narrow-bodies for which the fall in demand doesn’t warrant a larger aircraft anymore.

Crucially, in 2020 it was the turbo-prop sector which saw the smallest fall in in-service fleets and scheduled flights, primarily driven by this category being proportionally the largest contributor of essential air services.

Deutsche Aircraft is proud to be targeting the most resilient segment of the market with our new D328eco aircraft, which will deliver reduced maintenance costs, better performance, modern avionics and many other features to ensure our operators not only stay afloat, but riding the tides of changes to come.