ATR, the world's leading manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, and Shaanxi Tianju Investment Group (Tianju) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the purchase of 10 ATR 42-600s to develop commuter service in Xinjiang, China. The first deliveries are expected to start as soon as possible in 2018.
There is significant potential to develop commuter services in China and to improve connectivity between smaller towns at the lowest operating costs. This is a key priority of the Chinese government, which has a new focus in the development of regional and general aviation in order to increase quick and efficient access to smaller areas across the country.
Mr. Yang Qiang, Chairman of Tianju Group said, "In responding to the Chinese government’s strong intention to promote the General Aviation market, Tianju has made an intensive market study and identified Xinjiang as the ideal location to develop commuter service under General Aviation operations. We are convinced that the specifically adapted ATR 42-600 will provide the best answer for this market segment, which so far does not have operators dedicated to this segment. We are pleased to partner with the world's leading regional aircraft manufacturer to develop commuter service in Xinjiang and strongly contribute to China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’”
China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ will improve infrastructure both in China and surrounding countries, thus supporting economic development and increasing the demand for air transportation both within China and from and to these countries.
"ATR aircraft are widely recognised as the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the regional market, especially for the short-haul sectors. Thanks to their low fuel consumption and low trip cost, ATRs allow airlines to develop new markets, as highlighted by the over 100 new routes that our aircraft create around the world each year" said Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer.
China has been a strategic partner and supplier for ATR for nearly 20 years. Xi'an Aircraft Industry Co., Ltd. (XAC), a subsidiary of AVIC, provides substantial fuselage sections along with parts of the wings of the ATR aircraft.
ATR is willing to support China’s important effort to develop the rapidly growing General Aviation market, especially in the area of commuter services. The tailored ATR 42-600 offers a spacious seat layout, the highest standards of cabin comfort, and cutting-edge technology. It uniquely fills the General Aviation market requirement for 30-seat cabin class aircraft.