At a workshop on contract configurations here at MRO Europe in Hamburg, Patrick Massicot, ATR's business development director, said the turboprop market is largely made up of customers operating small fleets.
Of the 800+ ATR aircraft operating, more than one-third (250+) are flying under an ATR Global Maintenance Agreement
, an MRO contract based on flight hours. Massicot said this kind of full support deal provides a "capped cost, so there are no surprises," which he added is very appealing because unforeseen maintenance costs could really hurt small operators.
A gentleman in the audience bristled at OEMs providing total support packages because he said it kills competition. He said OEM parts prices continue to dramatically rise, and if OEMs grab a bigger share of the aftermarket, he's worried that aftermarket costs will just rise.
Massicot patiently listened and said he doesn't think the ATR fleet covered by a Global Maintenance Agreement will ever exceed 50% (although he'd obviously be happy if it did), so the market itself is keeping competition alive--it's providing natural checks and balances.
Here's a picture of an Air St Pierre's ATR 42-500. Photo credit: ATR