ATR Makes Maintenance Cost Inroads
Turboprop manufacturer ATR has continued to push the operating economics of its aircraft by extending the C check maintenance interval for all its aircraft from 5,000 to 8,000 flight hours.
The Toulouse-based manufacturer already had strong marketing angles for its equipment’s fuel burn and environmental advantages over turbofan aircraft, and can now also offer lower maintenance costs and increased availability from the EASA-approved interval extension.
“By extending the intervals between these heavy maintenance checks, we offer our operators the potential to generate more revenues, as they will see their aircraft flying up to three more days a year when considering both A and C check improvements now in place,” noted David Brigante, ATR’s senior vice-president for customer support and services.
In February 2019, ATR received certification from EASA to extend the intervals between A checks from 500 to 750 hours, for all of its aircraft series.
The extent to which the latest change will lower maintenance costs may take time to reveal itself, as less frequent checks may be offset by heavier workscopes.
Aviation Week Network’s 2022 Fleet & MRO Forecast predicts that maintenance demand for all ATR aircraft will fluctuate between about $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion annually for the next 10 years.
Of that, the biggest chunk each will be for maintenance of the ATR’s turboprop engine, for which demand is forecast to swing between about $550 million and $800 million annually.
Recently, ATR announced the introduction of the new Pratt &Whitney PW127XT engine series as the standard engine for ATR72 and 42 aircraft.
Compared with the current Pratt & Whitney engine, ATR claims the new variant will have 40% longer time on wing, meaning an engine overhaul event every 20,000 hours, resulting in a 20% reduction in engine maintenance costs.