Japan Air Commuter (JAC) has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600, JA06JC (c/n 1524), the first of its type in Japan. This follows a conversion of one of its orders of an ATR 42-600 to the larger 72 version.
The airline, which is a regional subsidiary of the flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL), will operate the aircraft from its base at Kagoshima Airport.
Hiroki Kato, president of Japan Air Commuter commented: “The performance of our existing ATR fleet has been highly satisfactory, and this acquisition of an ATR 72-600 will allow us to be more flexible with our operations, matching capacity to demand more efficiently. The aircraft’s blend of one of the most modern cabins in regional aviation with excellent economics allows us to deliver the high standards of comfort that our passengers expect.”
JAC received its first ATR 42-600 in early 2017, with the delivery of this larger aircraft, the carrier will be able to fly more passengers to airports with shorter runways that are only accessible by turboprop.
ATR chief executive officer, Stefano Bortoli remarked: “Following the successful introduction of the ATR 42 in Japan last year there is no better proof of the quality of our aircraft than now seeing the ATR 72-600 ready to fly in Japan. Regional aviation provides vital connectivity to countries all over the world, increasing tourism and boosting local economies.”
The airline will also benefit from commonality between the models; the ATR 42 and 72 share a single type rating and 90% of spare parts. JAC currently operates a mixed fleet of turboprops including two Dash 8 Q400s, six Saab 340s, and four ATR 42s.