Aircraft Asset Assessment

September 4, 2017

Market Presence. Qantas Airlink, Delta, Hawaiian, Turkmenistan and Volotea are the only operators of the B717. The lack of success for the B717 has little to do with its performance and capability. The ruggedness of the design has made it ideal for short haul operations. In-service experience has also proven that efficiency was better than forecast. Such is the capability of the aircraft that Boeing was able to lower the MTOW while retaining the same payload/range capability, a move that was in contrast to most other types that needed a boost in MTOW simply to retain target payload/range. Pricing was also not an issue. With prices of around $25-26 million for a five-unit order, the cost had been comparable to the price being paid for the 70-90 seat regional jets. While the B717 showed much potential this failed to be translated into wider market share. The emergence of higher capacity Embraer jets, the lack of orders for the B737-600 and the development of the CSeries perhaps shows that Boeing failed to invest sufficiently in this segment of the market. The belief that the B717 represented a natural replacement for the huge numbers of DC9s and B737-200ADVs in service failed to appreciate that the market structure had changed.

Market Outlook. In terms of the relationship between market demand and residual value expectations, it would seem that there should be little justification for assuming that the residual values for the B717 would possess reasonable strength but more recently there has been such stability. The final production number of 155 clearly generates marginalization. Lacking membership of a family, the B717 has not been shielded from many of the dangers of isolation but for those operators still using the type the aircraft represents a stalwart performer that still has years of utility remaining.

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