ATR marks entry into Japan with start-up airline deal

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Airframer ATR has finally entered the Japanese market with Link, a new regional carrier that will commence service in 2013.

The agreement for three ATR 72-600s, which will be leased to Link, was announced at the Japan Aerospace show in Nagoya.

Link, which was formed in April 2012, plans to operate the turboprop aircraft on services between major and local airports in Japan as well as short-haul international routes.

"Today is a really important day for ATR," says ATR's chief executive Filippo Bagnato. "We are entering a new and huge market which may bring us substantial commercial opportunities in a country with some 130 million inhabitants."