ATR bullish about tur­bo­prop mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN in Zhuhai, Guang­dong zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

ATR, a French tur­bo­prop air­craft man­u­fac­turer that makes planes with less than 90 seats, said it is bullish on the huge growth po­ten­tial of the re­gional air­craft mar­ket in China, and fore­sees de­mand for 300 new tur­bo­props in China over the next two decades.

Re­gional net­work growth is the next big op­por­tu­nity in China, with some 800 new re­gional routes ex­pected to be flown by tur­bo­props, com­pany ex­ec­u­tives said at the China In­ter­na­tional Avi­a­tion and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion in Zhuhai.

Nearly 80 per­cent of the tur­bo­props ex­pected for de­liv­ery in China will be used for new routes, par­tic­u­larly in less densely pop­u­lated cities and re­gions, where they have less­de­vel­oped road in­fra­struc­ture, lim­i­ta­tions to de­vel­op­ing high-speed rail­ways and lower traf­fic de­mand.

Cur­rently, re­gional air­craft ac­count for only 2.5 per­cent of the to­tal fleet op­er­at­ing in China, com­pared with 25 per­cent world­wide, said ATR, a joint ven­ture be­tween Air­bus Group and Italy-based aerospace com­pany Leonardo-Fin­mec­ca­nica.

“We see a tremen­dous po­ten­tial to in­tro­duce mod­ern tur­bo­props for short-haul routes in China, es­pe­cially in ar­eas such as the com­mut­ing be­tween smaller cities, char­tered air­craft for busi­ness and travel and cross-sea routes,” said John Moore, ATR’s head of global sales.

“There is a real need to fur­ther de­velop re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity in China, both be­tween smaller towns and from smaller towns to larger hubs. Re­gional avi­a­tion is es­sen­tial to pro­vid­ing more ef­fi­cient con­nec­tions and to fu­el­ing eco­nomic growth.”

ATR and Shaanxi Tianju In­vest­ment Group have agreed to co-de­velop the short-haul air mar­ket in North­west China by us­ing ATR air­craft.

Cur­rently, there is no ATR air­craft fly­ing in China, as the re­gional air­craft mar­ket in the coun­try has been un­der­de­vel­oped, Moore said.

ATR, how­ever, has had Chi­nese sup­pli­ers for more than 20 years.

Over the next 20 years, among the 300 ex­pected de­liv­er­ies of new tur­bo­props, 270 would be in the 61-80 seat seg­ment and 30 in the 40-60 seat seg­ment, the com­pany said.

By 2020, China plans to build more than 500 air­ports and cre­ate a mar­ket worth morethan 1 tril­lion yuan ($148 bil­lion) for its gen­eral avi­a­tion in­dus­try, the govern­ment an­nounced in June.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A model of an ATR re­gional tur­bo­prop air­craft on dis­play in Bei­jing.

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