Kirishima - The feeder operator Japan Air Commuter (JAC) has converted an order of nine ATR 42-600 to 72-600, a first in Japan for the largest model of the European aircraft manufacturer.

On June 5, ATR announced that the feeder operator of Japan Airlines modified an order placed in 2016 (with 14 purchase rights), marking the arrival of ATR 72-600 in Japan for the first time.

The 72-600s of JAC to be delivered by the end of the year and configured with 70 seats, increasing the airline's entire seating capacity.

Japan is made up of many beautiful islands that domestic and foreign tourists visit to enjoy nature and countryside, and because of their size and ability to operate in small airfields and short runways, the ATRs are perfectly suited to these areas,
says the aircraft manufacturer in its statement.

More than a third of domestic routes in Japan are less than 300 nautical miles, a distance for which the ATRs' performance and efficiency are notably recognized. Japan Air Commuter made its first 42-600 flight with 48 seats on April 26, 2017. The company currently operates four of them.

The ATR 42-600 has clearly proven its efficiency for our operations, and the comfort of its cabin has been appreciated by our passengers. We are very satisfied with the operational flexibility and results of this model. This conversion will allow us to benefit from the many common points between the two models while reducing the operational costs per seat of our fleet,
Hiroki Kato, President of Japan Air Commuter said.

The introduction of the ATR 72-600 in Japan illustrates the merits of the ATR family of aircraft for the development and growth of new business opportunities at the lowest cost. For over a year, JAC has benefited from the operational versatility and cost-effectiveness of the ATR 42-600. The company will now be able to better meet the growing needs for regional connectivity across the country while remaining a benchmark for excellence in passenger experience,
said Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.

Founded in 1983, Japan Air Commuter is a JAL subsidiary. Japan Airlines is the majority shareholder of the company with 60%. The 40% of the company is being held jointly by the twelve municipalities of the Amami archipelago in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu. Headquartered at Kagoshima Airport, Japan Air Commuter operates 15 aircraft with 71 daily flights on 18 routes between the Amami Islands and Western Japan and carries more than one million passengers every year as the primary means travel.

European turboprop manufacturer is the world leader in the regional aviation market. The ATR's 42s and 72s, make up a fleet that includes more than 200 airlines in nearly 100 countries. The ATR's turboprops create more than 100 new routes every year.