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Aircraft Asset Assessment — The B717

September 18, 2006

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. The superior capability of the aircraft has allowed Boeing 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 paid for 70-90 seat regional jets. However, the Fokker 100 has been available at nearly a tenth of the cost and at 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, market success did not follow. The belief that the B717 represented a natural replacement for the huge numbers of DC9s and B737-200ADVs in service failed to appreciate the fact that the market's structure had changed.

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