Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier has made clear that he will not support a quick launch of the proposed ATR 90-seat turboprop.

“You don’t tell your customers that you will spend billions on a new project when you have no competition,” Bregier said at the Airbus Innovation Days in Toulouse. He was referring to the dominating role that ATR plays in the turboprop market based on recent of the ATR 72 in particular. Launching the larger turboprop “is not a priority for Airbus”.

As a joint venture between Airbus and Finmeccanica, ATR needs the support of both shareholders to go ahead with the development of a new aircraft. While Finmeccanica has been very much in favor of the idea, Airbus has been skeptical from the beginning.

ATR has presented plans for an all-new turboprop to its shareholders that -– it says -– its customers would like to see it build. The debate about the 90-seater has triggered another discussion about inefficiencies in ATR’s structure. Bregier says that “if there is a way to make it more efficient I would be open for it.”