Enjoy Asia-Pacific STOL Opportunities with ATR Eyes

November 10th, 2022
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Enjoy Asia-Pacific STOL Opportunities with ATR Eyes

As one of the leaders in the turbo prop market, France-based ATR aircraft is always looking for new opportunities in growth markets. Asia-Pacific is a place where aging aircraft and challenging hot and high environments are prime for what ATR aircraft can offer.

In the coming years, ATR believes that the under-development ATR 42-600S will be a vital aircraft type for regional airlines in Asia-Pacific. This is the STOL turboprop which will enter service in 2025, and a recent flight test showed that this new jet meets all the requirements of certification. Sales director Mavis Toh explains how much interest there is in older types of STOL aircraft like this one, and comments on why they’re such a valuable investment to some operators.

STOL Flight testing is well underway

For a global aviation company it’s impossible to ignore the dangers posed by pandemic events, like Zika. ATR is committed to helping operators reclaim their operations to pre-pandemic levels.

The ATR 42-600S is a cost effective, fuel efficient aircraft that can land on smaller runways. In addition, the larger capacity of 40 seats makes it much more viable than aircraft like the 19-seat DHC6 400 Twin-Otter. The 42-600S would make airlines in Malaysia able to serve rural routes to Sabah and Sarawak and outlying islands such as Tioman.

Many of the major ATR operators in the region are affiliated to the Malaysia Aviation Group, which include Firefly and MASwings subsidiaries, and Batik Air. According to, Firefly has nine ATR 72-500s and MASwings has ten, totalling 13 in all. Batik Air operates 10 airplanes on the ground, leaving 11 airplanes total for both airlines.. The airframes are between 12 to 14 years old and they’re made with outdated PW127Y engines that have begun to show their age. The new P&W engine will reduce maintenance costs by 20% and provide a 3% improvement in fuel efficiency.

Asia-Pacific is ATRs largest market

When the pandemic started in Asia-Pacific, it was ATRs largest global market and definitely kept one of its aircraft on the ground. Toh said that 40% of its fleet was utilized for essential services routes and they kept working through the pandemic.

On the 2041-2050 market forecast, Asia-Pacific is predicted to need 975 turbo-prop aircraft. With China now the number one operator of turboprop aircraft, and increasingly more demand on the horizon, opportunities abound in this region of the world.