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Aircraft Asset Assessment: The B717

August 4, 2008

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 been able to lower the MTOW while retaining the same payload/range capability, a move that is in contrast to most other types needing 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 there was no market success. 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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