Japan Air Commuter (JAC), subsidiary of Japan Airlines, became a new ATR operator with the introduction into their fleet of ATR 42-600.
Eight other aircraft will be delivered over the coming three years. JAC is currently undertaking an important fleet modernization process. Progressively, their nine new ATRs will start operations on both main routes and connections from and to smaller islands and communities across the country.
Japan is a mature, yet dynamic, market, with more than 100 regional aircraft and an average fleet age of over 10 years. Japanese airlines are expected to renew and expand their regional fleets in the years to come in order to face an increasing tourism across the country within the next years. Japan is expected to attract over 40 million tourists by 2020, and will host major events such as the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 or the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Hiroki Kato, President of Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd, declared:
“The unrivaled airport accessibility of the ATRs, along with their high standards of safety and comfort, make the ATR -600s the perfect solution for our mission: connecting small communities and providing high-quality air service across the country.”
Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, highlighted:
“The suitability of the ATR -600s to generate business opportunities and strengthen community links”.
“Our partnership with JAC demonstrates the capacity of our aircraft to deliver the high standard of comfort expected on one of the mature markets in the world.”
The airline and ATR started their partnership at the last Paris Airshow, in 2015, with the signature of a contract for the introduction of ATR 42-600s in Japan. The deal represented a major milestone for ATR, bringing its firm order book to 1500 aircraft sold since the beginning of the program.
Founded in 1983, Japan Air Commuter is a JAL Group Company with Japan Airlines holding 60% as its principal shareholder, and the remaining shares jointly held by the 12 Municipalities of the Amami Islands of Kagoshima, Kyushu. Based in Kagoshima Airport, Japan Air Commuter operates 19 aircraft, 97 daily departures on 23 routes, and serves as the essential public air transport means for 1.6 million passengers annually between the beautiful Amami islands and Western Japan.