Kagoshima - Japan Air Commuter has taken possession of its first ATR 72-600. With this delivery, the company became the premier airline in Japan to operate the type.

On October 29, JAC received its first 70-seater turboprop, the ATR 72-600. The aircraft joined an ATR fleet of 48-seater ATR 42-600, which have been in service with the airline since April 26, 2017.

Japan Airlines' regional subsidiary currently operates five ATR 42-600 and expects three more with purchase rights for an additional 14 copies.

According to ATR, this order reflects the ability of the -600 to effectively contribute to the opening and development of new, lower-risk lines, thanks to a 40% lower fuel consumption than its competitors.

The 72-600 will allow JAC to carry more passengers to regional airports with short runways, where only turboprops can land. JAC will also benefit from the many similarities between the ATR 42 and the ATR 72. The devices share the same type rating and 90% of their parts.

The versatility of the ATR 72-600 will allow Japan Air Commuter to fly to destinations at unbeatable operating costs, ATR says.

Founded in 1983, Japan Airlines is the majority shareholder of the Japan Air Commuter with 60% of the shares. The rest of the shares are being held jointly by the twelve municipalities of the Amami Archipelago in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Japan Air Commuter operates 14 aircraft (including three Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s and six Saab 340Bs) with 70 daily flights on eighteen routes and carries on average one million passengers a year between the islands of Amami and western Japan.