Air Transport World

Commuter-regional transport sales strong in 1985.

Industry fears of a slump in commuter/regional aircraft sales failed to materialize in 1985. On the other hand 1985 sales successes helped fuel a new problem, a dilemma one observer dubbed "Catch '85."

"Catch '85" starts because customers will opt for the airplane they can get delivered closest to their optimum time, regardless whether it is the best match to the mission. With such hot competition, manufacturers are boosting production rates to give customers the delivery dates they want. In order to keep higher production rates profitable manufacturers need continued sales. But then buyers seem reticent to sign for new planes when delivery times fall a year or more in the future.

According to conversations with various sales representatives, sold out delivery positions have interfered with a half dozen otherwise solid sales prospects. To paraphrase the sales reps' lament, "I couldn't promise delivery when the buyer needed the planes, so he bought the other manufacturer's product."

Creative rescheduling

The hardest-to-get products appear to be British Aerospace Jetstream 31s, de Havilland Dash 8s, Embraer Brasillas, Fairchild Metro Ills and Saab SF-340s. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.