France-based ATR, the manufacturer of the ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprop aircraft, has indicated that it is set for growth in 2023, following a run of three difficult years.
In 2022, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), which is a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo, delivered 25 new and 11 pre-owned aircraft to airlines globally. According to ATR, the global in-service fleet “is now close to pre-COVID numbers with 1,200 aircraft flying, and the current backlog stands at a solid 160 aircraft”. Furthermore, 150 new routes were created using ATR-built aircraft, as the manufacturer also introduced the ATR 42-600S (Short Take-Off and Landing) turboprop.
In June 2022, in partnership with Sweden’s Braathens Regional Airlines and the Finnish oil company Neste, ATR completed a flight test with an ATR72-600 that was powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
“The goal for 2023 is to maintain our position as the leading regional aircraft manufacturer, by targeting at least 40 deliveries, with the ambition to ramp up production to 80 aircraft in the coming years,” said Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATR. According to Laude, the two aircraft built by the Franco-Italian company have “unbeatable economics, latest technologies, and unrivaled environmental performance”, allowing airlines to “operate their routes profitably, despite inflation and energy uncertainty”.
The OEM highlighted its plans to make use of the opportunities provided by the high demand for replacements for turboprops over the next 20 years, predicting demand for 1,500 turboprops during that period. This will allow it to “tap into underserved markets such as the United States, to increase its footprint on the freighter market, and to explore new opportunities, such as corporate, governmental and humanitarian operations”.
According to ch-aviation.com data, there are a total of 932 ATR 42/72s currently active with 171 airlines globally, excluding those that are in storage or under maintenance.