ATR and Xuzhou Hantong Aviation Development (Hantong) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to purchase three ATR 42-600s to develop commuter services in the province of Jiangsu, China.
The first deliveries are expected to start as soon as possible in 2018.
China has strong potential for the development of air connectivity as there is an increasing demand for enhanced aviation services from, to and within regional markets. These routes are relatively short with less demand and fewer passengers than main trunk routes connecting larger cities. Regional aircraft represent only 2.3% of the total fleet of nearly 3,000 civil aircraft flying in China. In addition, there is also strong potential to develop air services to some 100 small airports that, as of today, account for only 1.6% of the whole traffic in China.
Mr. Zhou Bingzhen, General Manager of Hantong said:
“Under Xuzhou local government’s strategy to develop Xuzhou as a new cargo and regional aviation hub, Hantong is to focus on regional cargo and commuter services under general aviation, as there is a huge gap in both areas. We are pleased to partner with ATR, the world’s leading regional aircraft manufacturer, and select ATR 42-600 to kick-off our strategic cooperation between the two companies. Meanwhile, Hantong is happy to have Reignwood Aviation, the renowned and experienced general aviation player in China, become the operation partner to jointly develop commuter services in eastern China.”
Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The Chinese government is very much encouraging General Aviation, recognising the positive impact it can have on the country’s transportation system, making it just as important as commercial aviation. Our ATR 42-600, configured with 30 seats, is the ideal solution for the General Aviation market in China. ATRs are the most sustainable way to increase traffic, develop local economies and then profitably prepare for larger scale operations. We are proud to have Hantong as well as Reignwood commit in this market sector. It’s our strong belief that the cooperation will be a big success”.