The right product at the wrong time: The downfall of European regional aircraft manufacturers

Johannes M.G. Heerkens, E.J. de Bruijn, H.J. Steenhuis

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We investigate whether there are common causes for the withdrawal from the regional aircraft market of three established manufacturers (BAE Systems, Fokker and Saab), while competitors thrived. We focus on the markets for 50- and 100-seat aircraft. One cause concerning the 50-seat market was the introduction of a new class of aircraft, the regional jet, which pushed the less successful turboprop aircraft from the market. Turboprop aircraft that had been relatively successful before the introduction of regional jets survived. A probable reason for the withdrawal of BAE Systems and Fokker from the 100-seat market (on which Saab was not present) was that their products were ‘standalone’ aircraft, while those of their successful competitors were members of aircraft families, the larger members being far more successful. Not the availability of technology determined the success of regional aircraft manufacturers, but the application of (suppliers’) technology in new products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoving up the Value Chain. Proceedings of the EurOMA 2006 Conference, 18-21 June 2006, Glasgow, Scotland
EditorsK. Mendibil, A. Shamsuddin
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event13th International Annual EurOMA Conference 2006: Moving up the value chain - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jun 200621 Jun 2006
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International Annual EurOMA Conference 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • IR-57959
  • METIS-232590


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