There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday that described the burgeoning market for turboprop aircraft worldwide. (I'd link to it here but this forum doesn't like articles from the WSJ because many of them are premium content open to subscribers only.) The article discussed increasing sales for larger ATR and Bombardier models in particular, and noted that SAAB may re-enter the market as well as the Chinese.
There were two specific questions that were raised by the article. First, the writers made the statement that "At elevated oil prices, a 70-seat turboprop costs about as much to operate as a 50-seat jet." I'm assuming such a statement only accounts for the expense side of the books, and that a 70-seat turboprop is therefore inherently more profitable to operate because of the enhanced revenue from 20 more pax.
The second question is this: With all of the talk of the increased interest in turboprops over the last few years, we've seen relatively few orders from the U.S. for turboprops (a market which, according to the WSJ, accounts for 85% of large turboprops--those with 70 or more seats). Is there really a sizable market for new large turboprops in the U.S., and if so, when will we see it emerge?