ATR In Talks On New Turboprop Design; Releases Market Forecast
FARNBOROUGH—Turboprop manufacturer ATR is planning to freeze the design for its new aircraft family in 2023, paving the way to meet demand for at least 2,450 new turboprops over the next 20 years.
After several years of analysis, the new ATR EVO family was announced in May. These will be twin-turboprop hybrid-powered aircraft, slated for entry into service by 2030.
“Now, we are in the discussion phase with main engine manufacturers and other equipment suppliers. We are discussing with our most important customers worldwide, to come together to a configuration that suits operational needs,” ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli said during a one-on-one interview at the Farnborough Airshow. “2023 will be the year when we will converge into freezing the configuration and making the final decision to launch the program.”
In the meantime, by year-end ATR will introduce Pratt & Whitney’s purpose-built PW127XT engine on both the ATR 42 and the ATR 72, cutting fuel consumption by 3%. The airframer is also hoping to get its aircraft certified to operate on 100% sustainable aviation fuel by 2025.
“New disruptive technologies, likely to be adopted from 2030 onwards, will further bring turboprops to the forefront of the aviation industry,” ATR said.
ATR also released its updated 20-year market forecast this week, predicting demand for at least 2,450 new turboprops over the period 2022 to 2041.
“The biggest driver of demand is airlines modernizing their fleets to meet the highest environmental standards,” ATR SVP commercial Fabrice Vautier said. “Replacements will account for seven out of 10 new aircraft.”
The remainder will be used for growth and to cover new route development.
Turboprops account for 40% of the regional passenger fleet. ATR believes the 30-seat and higher turboprop fleet will grow from 1,950 in 2022 to 2,660 in 2041, an increase of around 36%. This will be most noticeable in Asia-Pacific, China and Latin America.
ATR also predicts that the turboprop freighter fleet will grow by 45% over the next 20 years, rising from 380 in 2021 to 550 in 2041, driven by e-commerce growth.