Japan Air Commuter converts one ATR 42-600 into an ATR 72-600
Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd. (JAC) and ATR today announced the conversion into an ATR 72-600 of one of the ATR 42-600s that the airline currently has on order. This conversion means the arrival of the ATR 72 in Japan. The carrier and ATR have previously signed firm contracts for the introduction of nine ATR 42-600s. JAC, a regional subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL), introduced its first ATR 42-600 early in 2017 and today operates four of the aircraft. The delivery of the ATR 72-600 is expected before the end of this year.
The converted ATR 72-600 will be configured with 70 seats, adding seat capacity to the overall offer of the airline. Japan has many beautiful islands that both national and foreign tourists visit to enjoy their unique nature and countryside. The ATR aircraft, because of their size and ability to operate in small airfields and short runways, are perfectly suited for these regions. Also, as of today, over one third of the domestic routes in Japan are below 300 nm, a distance optimally suited for ATR's performance and efficiency.
Commenting on the conversion of this ATR aircraft, Hiroki Kato, President of Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd, declared: "The ATR 42-600 has clearly represented an efficient choice in our operations and its cabin comfortability has been well received by passengers. We are very satisfied with the operational versatility and results of this aircraft. With the conversion of one of our current aircraft on order into an ATR 72-600 we will now benefit from the strong commonality of both models, while further decreasing the operating costs per seat of our fleet. We strongly believe that this aircraft, which brings flexibility and efficiency especially to trunk routes with many business and sightseeing passengers, will be very useful to serve regional communities. We also appreciate the understanding and the support we got from both national and local governments to introduce the ATR 72-600.".
Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: "The introduction of the ATR 72-600 in Japan is an illustration of the suitability of the ATR aircraft family for developing and growing new commercial opportunities at the lowest costs. For over one year, JAC has benefitted from the operational versatility and cost-efficiency of the ATR 42-600. The airline will now be able to respond even better to the increasing needs of regional connectivity across the country while remaining a reference of excellence in terms of passenger experience".