Japan Airlines subsidiary Japan Air Commuter (JAC) has flown its first ATR 42-600 flight on April 26, 2017. According to ATR, 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.

The entry into service of JAC’s first ATR is a major milestone for ATR, for which Japan is a key market, according to the turboprop aircraft manufacturer.

Japan is preparing for a huge influx of tourists. Its government hopes to welcome 40 million visitors by 2020. In addition to hosting major events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020, Japan is promoting the natural beauty and cultural heritage of its regions.

ATR said that as 35% of Japanese domestic routes are below 300 nautical miles (555.6 km), ATRs are optimally suited to further develop regional connectivity as well as support the tourism in Japan.

Japan Air Commuter (JAC), subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL), introduced its new ATR 42-600 into its fleet on the 20th of January 2017. Eight other aircraft will be delivered over the coming three years, according to the aircraft manufacturer ATR. 

Based in Kagoshima Airport, Japan Air Commuter operates 19 aircraft, 97 daily departures on 23 routes, and serves as the essential public air transport means for 1.6 million passengers annually between the beautiful Amami Islands and Western Japan.   

The airline and ATR started their partnership at the 2015 Paris Airshow,  with the signature of a contract for seven ATR 42-600s.

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