Aircraft manufacturer ATR has received approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for a type certificate for the ATR 42-600 turboprop airplane. The approval came at the start of the Zhuhai airshow.
The manufacturer believes its product is the ideal solution to China's growing problem of having inadequate numbers of capable regional aircraft. It foresees this re-entrance into the Chinese air transit market as a means to secure a larger portion of the world's demand for regional airliners.
ATR reports that an undisclosed Chinese buyer has already placed three firm aircraft orders for the newly approved 42-600. This latest model of turboprop features a state-of-the-art glass cockpit with advanced avionics. The manufacturer claims this is the ideal aircraft for opening regional routes within China as it is the most sustainable regional aircraft on the market. It believes its product may prove vital to the growth of air transit in the country as China is looking to expand its internal connectivity rapidly over the coming decades.
The airplane manufacturer sees a significant gap in the Chinese air travel market as only 2.5% of the aircraft operating domestic flights are regional aircraft with fewer than 100 seats. The worldwide average percentage of sub-100-seat airliners is 25%. Industry analysts have blamed Chinese aviation regulators for these disproportionate aircraft numbers, citing that dedication to larger jets has caused the regional market to go underserved.
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