September 05, 2012
Aerovision International has acquired 10 Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft that have been in storage for two years, raising the possibility that some of them could be retired even though the oldest of the 50-seat regional jets was built in February 2000.
Nine of the aircraft were built between March 2001 and March 2002, the Aviation Week Intelligence Network fleets database shows.
Aerovision acquires aircraft for disassembly, resale or lease. Jeff Barnes, president and co-owner of the Muskegon, Mich.-based company, says it has not decided what it will do with the 10 ERJ-145s, which are being stored in Hot Springs, Ark. “We’re still reviewing our options, from lease to resell to part-out,” he tells Aviation Week.
If Aerovision decides to part out even one of the aircraft, it would mark the first retirement of a non-prototype ERJ-145. That also could be a reflection of the state of the market for 50-seaters, especially with U.S. carriers ridding themselves of large numbers of smaller regional jets.
But officials with Embraer’s EEC Leasing subsidiary insist it would not be indicative of a trend.
“To be 17 years into a program and to have the first parted out [now] I think is a very positive message on the product’s asset value,” says Mark Dunnachie, ECC Leasing’s managing director. Dunnachie also is skeptical of predictions of how quickly 50-seaters will be dropped from the U.S. market, given the number of feeder routes dependent on them, and says good markets are developing for the aircraft in Africa, Russia and South America, and perhaps even in the Middle East and among oil, gas and mining businesses.
The 10 acquired by Aerovision were operated by Mesa Air Group, which shed more than 30 of the model as part of its 2010 bankruptcy court-supervised Chapter 11 restructuring.
Even with the Aerovision acquisition, 23 for the former Mesa ERJ-145s remain parked; all of them were built between April 2000 and November 2003.
Brent Martin, who works in sales and acquisition for Stuart, Fla.-based Jet Sales of Stuart, says he has seen “decent” ERJ-145s selling for a little more than $3 million, which gets close to the point where parting them out makes more sense.