Japanese regional carrier Amakusa Airlines has taken delivery of its first ATR 42-600, marking ATR's first turboprop in Japan.
The 48-seat aircraft, MSN 1202, will replace the sole Bombardier Dash 8-100 in the carrier's fleet. The aircraft has been acquired from lessor Nordic Aviation Capital.
“We have a high level of confidence in the potential of the smaller ATR -600 Series as airlines around the world look to replace aging equivalent-sized aircraft, and when they look for a successor as they look to upgrade from smaller capacity aircraft,” says Nordic Aviation Capital chairman Martin Møller.
ATR chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac says that the Amakusa aircraft is the first ATR to be operated in Japan, and underlines the suitability of the type for the Japanese regional market.
“We are delighted to enter such a major market, one of the few Asian countries where ATR had not flown before. Japan, which has a fleet of almost 100 regional aircraft, including some 50 ageing turboprops, provides us outstanding commercial opportunities,” he adds.
Amakusa Airlines started operations in 2000, and flies from Amakusa to Fukuoka and Kumamoto. It is mainly owned by the Kumamoto prefectural governments and the municipal government of Amakusa.