Japan Air Commuter starts new era with ATR aircraft

January 20, 2017 Photo(s): By ATR

Japanese airlines are preparing for several major world events in the next years 

Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd. (JAC), subsidiary of Japan Airlines, became today a new ATR operator with the introduction of the modern and eco-efficient ATR 42-600 into its fleet. 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 on 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 unrivalled 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 highquality 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". He added: "Japanese passengers are arguably among the most conscious and demanding travelers about environment and excellence. The ATR aircraft will contribute to the renewal of regional aircraft fleets in Japan with the highest eco-efficient and quality standards."

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 programme.