Avions de Transport Régional, better known as ATR, celebrated the delivery of its 1,500th aircraft at the end of November. The aircraft, an ATR 72-600, was delivered to Japan Air Commuter, Japan Airlines Regional Aviation Division (JAL). This was the third important goal achieved by the Italian-French manufacturer this year after delivering the 1000th ATR 72 in July and the 500th ATR 72-600 in August.
“This is a momentous occasion for ATR and a moment of pride for all of our colleagues, past and present, who have contributed to the evolution and success of this fantastic aircraft. ATR is the benchmark in regional aviation and we have the ambition to further develop our contribution to and position in this market, “said Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR.
The manufacturer founded in 1980 by Aérospatiale (now Airbus) and Aeritalia (now Leonardo) is currently the leading player in the market for commercial turbo-propellers. Since 2010, 75% of sales in this segment have been ATR aircraft.
The company’s first aircraft was the ATR 42, for just over 44 passengers and was introduced in 1985, followed by the larger model ATR 72, launched in 1988. Today the aircraft of the manufacturer controlled by the Airbus and Leonardo groups fly with more than 200 operators in 100 countries.
And the milestone of 1,500 aircraft achieved in 33 years of sales is just the beginning. The ATR forecast estimates the need for more than 3,000 turbo-propeller aircraft over the next 20 years, in part to supply about 3,000 new routes.
The Toulouse-based manufacturer believes that a 10% increase in regional flights can contribute 5% more tourists in one region, increase regional GDP by 6% and direct foreign investment by 8%. According to the ATR, all these factors lead to more socioeconomic development in the localities served, besides generating more jobs.