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Aircraft Asset Assessment: B717

April 12, 2010

Market Presence. 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. However, the Fokker 100 has been available at nearly a tenth of the cost and much lower rentals, telling attributes in the extremely cost conscious regional market. The BAe146, with four engines, also secured more orders before production ceased. While the B717 showed much potential this failed to be translated into wider market share. 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.

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