In the past few weeks and months Saab has been increasingly successful with its Saab 2000 series in the Second-Hand market. As we all know as a new plane it miserably failed, gaining only very few order from Crossair (now Swiss), SAS Commuter, Régional Airlines and General Motors.
However in the past weeks several airlines have taken delivery of Saab 2000s, mainly out of Swiss´ stock. Among them are Carpatair, a Romania-based operator currently flying with Saab 340, which has just this week taken over the first of six S20. OLT, Ostfriesische Lufttransportgesellschaft, Germany, has expanded its fleet by a third Saab 2000. Golden Air, Sweden, has leased its Saab 2000 to Eastern Airways, UK. Newcomer Fairline, Austria, has taken delivery of 2 S20 for flights to Italy.
Even though the demand so far is only generated within Europe a picture seems to come up. Second-Tier regional carriers are starting to introduce larger, comparably modern equipment and move into routes which are either growing or which have been dropped by mainline carriers or their subsidaries. Maybe the next “regional airlines revolution” is about to start in a few years with those regionals becoming the strong, unaligned regionals which are forcasted as the main customers for the new bread of 70-seat regional jets?