ATR yet to see big demand for linefit connectivity

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ATR said it is seeing no significant demand from airlines to provide in-flight connectivity as a linefit option on its turboprops, but will study connectivity should the need arise.

Noting that its customers largely operate flight durations of 45min to 1h 15min, ATR customisation director Pierre Tiefenbach said: "So far, I would say this [connectivity] is not a priority for ATR. We are not getting a very strong specific demand from our customers on providing in-flight connectivity."

He believes connectivity "makes less sense" on short-hop flights versus long-haul, but said ATR remains open to connectivity studies should demand change.

Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association, said innovation in the cockpit, such as the introduction of hand-held tablets, will help drive connectivity equipage.

"I see that we're going to be putting lower-cost [connectivity] systems in, to allow people to carry on working - but it won't be fancy things. It will be that the connectivity is there, if you've got the piece of equipment [your own PED]."

ATR offers customers the option of drop-down in-flight entertainment (IFE) on its new -600 turboprops. Caribbean Airlines is among the carriers to select the IFE, said ATR.