Posted on: 15 June 2015 by Mark Howells
ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac reported that the company has garnered 46 firm orders and 35 options since the beginning of the year, amongst which Japan Air Commuter (JAC) has placed an order for 8 firm ATR 42-600s with 14 purchase rights and 1 option.
The JAC order includes the 1,500th order in the history of the ATR programme. Commenting on his airline’s order, Japan Air Commuter CEO Arata Yasujima said he hoped for a long-time relationship with the OEM. “ATR is a perfect match for the demand in Japan,” he remarked.
The order is in preparation for the replacement of JAC’s 10 Saab 340s. Asked about the potential to move to ATR 72-600s for its larger turboprops – the airline currently flies 11 Bombardier Q400s – Yasujima replied, “Right now, we have no concrete ideas – but if the market allows we may look at the aircraft [ATR 72].”
Deliveries of the 48-seat 42-600s begins in January 2017 and the airline is scheduled to receive all eight aircraft over a three-year period from then.
Other orders included in the 46 firm are six ATR 72-600s for Binter Canarias, three ATR 72-600s for Air Madagascar, one additional ATR 72-600 for Air New Zealand and an order from bahamasair for three ATR 42-600s and two ATR 72-600s.
de Castelbajac explained that the company’s hopes for orders were slightly hit by the major markets of Brazil and Indonesia being hit by a shift in the dollar exchange rate. “That made the price of aircraft increase significantly there,” but we have still had sales on all five continents.”
The CEO went on to emphasise that not only does ATR have a total of 194 operators, its share of the turboprop market from 2010 until now has been 77%.
“We have more new developments for the aircraft too. New slim seats have been included in the Armonia cabin design which will enable the capacity to go to 78 passengers with a 28 inch pitch,” de Castelbajac said. “There is also a slight move of the galley in the front.”
The company plans to announce a launch customer tomorrow for the higher density version on the second day of the show.
Other additions to the aircraft’s capabilities include smart galleys and an enhanced vision system – Clearvision – which will enable CAT III operations at airports without an ILS. Minima will be reduced by 50% versus current ILS CAT 1 and 2 and LPV approaches.
ATR is also aiming to move from RNP capability of 0.3/1 to 0.3/0.3. “This is still under development and will be in the market in the next two years,” according to de Castelbajac. There will also be a new
“Detection Reactive” windshear system and a new electronic checklist developed for the family.
On the perennial question of the launch of a new larger turboprop, de Castelbajac simply confirmed that there has been no change from Airbus Group in its view that the time is not yet right for such an investment.
Meanwhile, ATR has launched a new orange brand (pictured) which de Castelbajac said more reflected the company’s position in the industry. The previous brand was introduced in 1999 after ATR and BAE Systems Regional Aircraft separated from their joint venture Aero International (Regional).
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Le Bourget, Paris, France