Posted on: 13 August 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Amakusa Airlines, which provides regional services between Amakusa (off the coast of mainland Kyushu in south-western Japan) to large cities such as Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Osaka, has taken delivery of a 48-seat ATR 42-600 purchased from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC).
The ATR 42-600, which features the OEM’s newest Armonia cabin and full-glass cockpit avionics, will be the first ATR -600 series aircraft to operate in Japan. It replaces Amakusa Airlines’ current 39-seat turboprop, offering larger capacity and contributing to the development of tourism.
Takashi Yoshimura, president of Amakusa Airlines, declared, “We are honoured to debut the ATR in Japan, and to provide our passengers with an aircraft that has an outstanding reputation in terms of comfort, reliability and operational flexibility. The aircraft, which has an increased seat capacity, will also enable us to achieve optimised economics and seat costs, while having a very low environmental footprint.”
Martin Møller, chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital, commented, “We have a high level of confidence in the potential of the smaller ATR -600 Series as airlines around the world look to replace aging equivalent-sized aircraft, and when they look for a successor as they look to upgrade from smaller capacity aircraft. This is why we have consistently added to our ATR orderbook and we are delighted to offer various financing solutions to our customers, plenty of whom have already shown their interest in the 50-seat variant of the ATR.”
“The arrival of this first aircraft underlines the suitability of the ATR -600 series for regional operations across Japan. We are delighted to enter such a major market, one of the few Asian countries where ATR had not flown before,” added ATR’s CEO, Patrick de Castelbajac. “Japan, which has a fleet of almost 100 regional aircraft, including some 50 aging turboprops, provides us outstanding commercial opportunities. This, coupled with our aim of being as close as possible to our new operators there, explains the recent opening of an ATR representative office in Tokyo.”