Saturday, June 20, 2015

Japan Air Commuter orders up to 23 ATR42-600s.

On June 15th, Japan Air Commuter [3X/JAC] signed a contract to purchase up to 23 ATR42-600s, including eight firm orders, one option, and 14 purchase rights, at the Paris Air Show. Deliveries of the new generation aircraft will begin in 2017 to mainly replace JAC's 10 aging 36-seat Saab SF340Bs. It represents the 1500th ATR aircraft sold since the beginning of the program.

A rendering of the ATR42-600 in Japan Air Commuter's livery. (Image: ATR)

The ATR42-600 turboprop is equipped with a glass cockpit incorporating the newest navigation technologies introduced on the Airbus A380. Seating 48, the aircraft are also equipped with the new Armonia cabin, featuring the latest standards of comfort, including large overhead bins, LED lightening, and more legroom for passengers. JAC President Arata Yasujima said "We evaluated it against a smaller version of the Q400 Bombardier is developing," adding "In the end we valued the ATR42's comfort, economics, and reliability."

Originally a joint-venture (JV) between Japan Air System [JD/JAS] and 12 governments in the Amami Archipelago, controlling 60% and 40%, respectively, the regional airline was founded in 1983 to provide air services to remote islands from Kagoshima [KOJ/RJFK]. The JAS holding has since been inherited by Japan Airlines [JL/JAL] and it currently operates  141 daily flights covering 27 routes. In addition to the SF340Bs, it also flies 11 Bombardier DHC-8-400Qs.

JAC becomes the second carrier in Japan to choose the ATR42 after Amakusa Airlines [AHX], which will take delivery of a single aircraft in January 2016 to replace their sole Bombardier DHC-8-103, JA81MX (Amakusa Airlines chooses ATR42-600.). The Amakusa-based commuter airline started code-sharing with JAL in April (Amakusa Airlines announces code-share with JAL.), and Mr. Yasujima hinted a possible partnership including sharing spare parts sources.

Source: ATR, June 15th. (in English)
Source: Aviation Wire, June 15th. (in Japanese)

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