- Özgür Töre
ATR, the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer, has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for up to 36 aircraft with Feel Air Holdings at the Farnborough Air Show.
Feel Air is a new Japanese regional airline holding company created with the purpose of revitalising Japan’s regions. Feel Air will use its unique franchise business structure to gradually establish a family of regional airlines that will cover different areas within Japan.
Feel Air has chosen ATR aircraft for their excellent performance as a route opener. The airline intends to establish new regional connections throughout the Japanese archipelago, which has close to 100 airports in operation. Its aim is to improve inter- and intra-regional mobility as never before, creating a sustainable flow of people and goods, and contributing to local economies in an affordable and responsible way.
The LoI confirms Feel Air’s commitment to the exclusive use of ATR aircraft for its domestic operations, with a fleet that will consist of both ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 aircraft, as well as the short take-off and landing variant, the ATR 42-600S, for easier access to smaller regional airports.
Mr. Taiichi Kojima, President of Feel Air Holdings, said: “Feel Air Holdings aims to bring a new dynamic to Japanese regional air travel, making it more versatile, more meaningful, and more accessible to all. Thanks to their reduced CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency, ATR aircraft can help us to do this in a sustainable manner, allowing us to contribute actively to local communities while also protecting Japan’s many beautiful natural landscapes.”
Mr. Hideki Ide, Chief Executive Officer of Feel Air Holdings, said: “Over the coming years, Feel Air Holdings will establish at least five regional airlines, with a fleet that will ultimately comprise 36 ATR aircraft. Our fundamental goal is to improve regional air mobility in Japan by connecting local destinations that currently do not have air service, thereby creating stronger links between regional businesses and people, generating new markets, and enriching local economies. ATR aircraft play an essential part in our business strategy because they are the ideal size for such regional operations and demonstrate exceptional operational efficiency.”
Stefano Bortoli, ATR Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Air transport is crucial for Japan’s islands and regions, and the establishment of Feel Air will help connect Japan’s regions affordably and sustainably. At ATR, we want to help ensure that aviation and Feel Air in particular can contribute to a prosperous future for Japan. Together, we will explore many opportunities for our versatile and sustainable turboprops in the coming years, to further support Japan’s economic development and its need for quick, reliable and responsible essential services.“
There are currently 15 ATR aircraft flying across Japan with three operators. Two more operators will start operations as well in the coming months. In total, ATR sees a potential for 100 ATR aircraft operating in Japan in the medium term.