Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd. (JAC) has converted one of the nine ATR 42-600s that the airline had previously ordered into an ATR 72-600.
Japan Air Commuter has converted one of the nine ATR 42-600s that the airline had previously ordered into an ATR 72-600. This conversion signifies the arrival of the larger, 70-seat ATR 72 in Japan.
JAC, a regional subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL), introduced its first ATR 42-600 in April 2017 and today operates four of the aircraft. The delivery of the ATR 72-600 is expected before the end of this year.
Japan is seen as an ideal target market for the European turboprop. Over one-third of domestic routes in Japan are below 300nm, a distance ideally suited for ATR’s performance and efficiency. The $496m contract with JAC, signed in 2015, was ATR's first contract with a Japanese airline. The original contract included purchase rights for an additional 14 aircraft.
The first Japanese carrier to take delivery of an ATR aircraft was Amakusa Airlines, which received an ATR 42-600 in August 2015. The aircraft was supplied by leasing company Nordic Aviation Capital.
Founded in 1983, Japan Air Commuter is a JAL Group company with Japan Airlines holding 60% as its main shareholder, and the remaining shares jointly held by the 12 Municipalities of the Amami Islands of Kagoshima, Kyushu.