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Turboprop maker ATR achieves 52 firm aircraft orders in 2018

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 4, 2019

ATR aircraft in the manufacturer's livery. (ATR)
ATR aircraft in the manufacturer’s livery. (ATR)

Turboprop maker ATR says it secured firm orders for 52 aircraft in calendar 2018 in what it described as a difficult environment due to the suspension of deliveries to Iran Air.

The total of 52 firm orders is down significantly from the 113 firm orders achieved in calendar 2017. However, the 2017 total was boosted by India-based IndiGo’s order for 50 ATR 72-600s.

In calendar 2016, ATR secured 36 firm orders.

ATR said there were 20 orders for its 72-600 turboprop in 2018.

The company, which is based in Toulouse, France and jointly held by Airbus and Leonardo, said ATR aircraft created 113 new routes in 2018.


“With around 62 per cent of the turboprop orders for the year, the modern ATR -600s continues to be the preferred choice of regional airlines,” the company said in a statement.

“The 2018 results provide ATR with a solid backlog representing almost three years of production.”

Its ATR 72-600, which seats 68 seats in a standard one-class configuration, competes with Bombardier’s Q400. The ATR 42-600 is designed to carry 48 passengers.

A file image of an ATR 72-600. (ATR)
A file image of an ATR 72-600. (ATR)

In 2017, Iran Air signed a deal to purchase 20 ATR turboprop aircraft. The airline had received 13 of that order before the United States government introduced fresh economic sanctions against Iran that came into effect in August 2018.

ATR said it had managed to find new owners for those aircraft originally earmarked for Iran Air.

“In a difficult environment, ATR succeeded in reallocating the aircraft it was unable to deliver to Iran Air,” ATR said.

VIDEO: The delivery ceremony for the first four ATR 72-600s for Iran Air in May 2017 the ATR YouTube channel.

ATR said it delivered 76 aircraft in calendar 2018, which included new customers Silver Airways in the United States, Ewa Air in the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean and Hokkaido Air System (HAC) in Japan.

Delivery milestones in 2018 included the 1000th ATR 72 series aircraft and the 1,500th ATR aircraft.

A supplied infographic on ATR orders and deliveries in calendar 2018. (ATR)
A supplied infographic on ATR orders and deliveries in calendar 2018. (ATR)

ATR’s most recent market forecast, published in July 2018, showed the Asia Pacific region was expected to require 740 new turboprops over the next two decades to support the introduction of new routes and growing demand for travel from so-called secondary cities.

The figure did not include the Chinese market.

Of the 740 new turboprops, ATR said it expected 425 aircraft to be used for growth, with 315 earmarked to replace older aircraft.

The installed turboprop fleet in the Asia Pacific region was tipped to grow from 590 aircraft in 2017 to 1,015 in 2037, split between 140 aircraft in the 50-seat segment and 600 in the 70-seat segment.

ATR operators in this part of the world include Air New Zealand, PNG Air and Virgin Australia.

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Comments (4)

  • Ben


    I like the ATR. I think it gives a much better passenger experience than the Q400. It seems to have a larger cabin or more roomy feel to it.

    I know the Q400 has a higher cruising speed, but in most other respects I think the ATR offers a better package. Also being a frequent traveller (usually about 1 flight a month in one over several years) I can honestly say I’ve never had a rough landing in one. I think that’s partly to do with the position of the main landing gear in the fuselage, rather than hanging out under the engines/wing. I have a theory that that position allows for much better shock absorption. However I’m not an aeronautics engineer.

    Plenty of rough/bone rattling landings in Q400s, Saabs and any jets, but literally never in an ATR. Even flown in severe weather and crosswinds etc the touchdown themselves are always smooth.

    My worst experience has been a few bounced landings, probably due to weather or misjudging the flare etc. However even then the bounce and subsequent landing was smooth. The touchdowns always seem to be solid but never actually rough.

    Maybe this could be a trending design in landing gears for future aircraft design – to ensure perpetually smooth landings. Although the low ground clearance may be problematic, so probably only works with a high-wing design.

  • Jet-emi


    I went on PNG air’s ATR back in September 2016. Very enjoyable and smooth flight despite the air-potholes and speedbumps due to stormy weather and mountainous terrain. Great experience. I still think: When will Regional Express inevitably phase out the 340Bs’ and will the ATR-72s’ replace ‘en?

  • Ben


    @Jet-Emi I’ve often thought the same thing about Rex.

    I’m a frequent traveller on Rex and some of the Saabs with the newer/brighter interior are OK. However the older or unfurnished ones really show their age.

    As a direct replacement the ATR 42-600 would probably be a more suitable replacement. The ATR 72 has nearly twice the capacity of the Saab 340.

    Either that, or a combination of ATR 42 and 72 to better match capacity to the network. I’ve been on a few Rex flights where there are only 4 or 6 pax on to 30+ seat aircraft, so maybe even introduce a smaller type – like a Kingair 350, to serve the lower density routes.

    However you then run into issues of running multiple types in the fleet, which can increase overall costs etc.

    I think Rex has been smart by only having one fleet type. The size of the Saabs seem to fit with their network fairly well.

    Probably the best replacement type is the ATR 42-600. They are slightly higher capacity than the Saab, but it would be great to see the Rex fleet replaced with shiny brand new aircraft.

  • Have had the pleasure of multiple flights on both the DASH-8 variants and the ATR and both excellent at what they do.
    There is a huge market for both worldwide, I think REX is better sticking to the SAAB 340 , one type for training, spares and all that. There would probably not be that many REX routes to support an ATR, maybe the ATR 42 might fit a few routes but probably not worth the investment. Have had many SAAB 340 flights, still a great economical turboprop.
    REX concentrate on choice of schedules and are going well out of PER to ALH/ EPR/CVQ, and 34 seats seems to be ample.
    Amazing when you look back to AIR QUEENSLAND operating ATR 42s way back in 1986, albeit for just a year.

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