Japanese regional carrier Amakusa Airlines took delivery in Toulouse of a 48-seat ATR 42-600, the first of the type to start operations in Japan.
For almost 15 years, the airline has been providing regular scheduled regional services connecting the city of Amakusa off the coast of mainland Kyushu in southwestern Japan to large cities such as Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Osaka.
This new ATR 42-600 has been purchased from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the industry’s largest turboprop lessor, headquartered in Denmark. It is equipped with the latest technologies in passenger comfort and navigation aid tools and features ATR’s newest Armonia cabin and full-glass cockpit avionics. With the introduction of this very first ATR aircraft in Japan, Amakusa will replace their current 39-seat turboprop, thus offering larger capacity and contributing to the development of tourism and to even better service for the local population.
Commenting on the introduction of the aircraft, Takashi Yoshimura President of Amakusa Airlines, declared: “We are honored 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 optimized economics and seat costs, while having a very low environmental footprint.”
Martin Møller, Chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital, stated: “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.”
Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “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. 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.”