Japan Air Commuter Co. Ltd. (JAC) performed its first ATR 42-600 flight on 26th April. JAC’s flight 3741 departed from Kagoshima at 8:50 am (local time) for a 40-minute flight to Yakushima. The aircraft then performed three flights, from Yakushima to Kagoshima, from Kagoshima to Okinoerabu, and back to Kagoshima.
A subsidiary of national flag carrier Japan Airlines, JAC took delivery of its first ATR 42-600 in January. It is scheduled to receive a further eight aircraft over the next three years under a contract signed at the 2015 Paris Air Show. The ATRs will be operating on connections from and to small islands and communities across the country.
The event is seen as a milestone by ATR, which views Japan as a mature, yet dynamic, market, with more than 100 regional aircraft and an average fleet age of over 10 years. The country is preparing for a huge influx of tourists over the next few years, boosted by major events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020.
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.