What makes ATR regional turboprops so successful

As it approaches four decades since its first flight, ATR’s eponymous aircraft effectively has the regional turboprop market to itself. Alan Dron finds out how it has achieved this

It may not be the fastest or the most glamorous of aircraft. However, the ATR 42 and 72 have not only out-lived their main rival but are likely to be the sole significant survivor in their category for the foreseeable future.

After a sharp dip in output over the pandemic, the Toulouse final assembly line for the high-winged turboprop is steadily gearing up for higher production rates.

The market has now essentially returned to its pre-COVID state, said ATR’s senior vice president (SVP), commercial, Alexis Vidal. Europe, one of the company’s main markets, is now at 7% above 2019 levels in terms of available seat kilometres (ASK), the standard measurement of airline capacity. 

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