Franco-Italian regional turboprop builder ATR expects demand for new turboprops in the Asia-Pacific region to reach 750 units over the next 20 years. This would be partly fuelled by about 600 new routes to be created in the region (excluding China). In addition, ATR estimates that regional traffic demand in emerging countries should grow eight times faster than in more mature economies.
ATR — which is jointly owned by Airbus Group and Leonardo-Finmeccanica — believes that local carriers will develop secondary markets using regional aircraft to satisfy the increasing need for connectivity within the region. Today, an airline can produce a 15% yield benefit by offering direct services between secondary cities, while providing affordable transportation by using the right-sized aircraft, says ATR.
Out of the 750 estimated aircraft, 630 would be ATR 72s, while the demand for the smaller ATR 42, accommodating up to 50 passengers, could reach 120 units. Route creation will represent 27% of aircraft needs forecast for the period. ATR is also offering the new 78-seat High Capacity version of the ATR 72. The first High Capacity aircraft was delivered to Cebu Pacific Air in September, and the aircraft entered service on 15th October.
With 377 ATRs in operation (with 60 airlines) and some 200 routes created since 2010, the Asia-Pacific region has the largest ATR fleet in operation. The Franco-Italian firm claims to have captured over 90% of regional aircraft sales in Southeast Asian countries since 2010. Turboprops currently account for 79% of the Southeast Asian regional fleet, according to ATR.