Dublin-based turboprop leasing firm Elix Aviation Capital has today signed an LOI to become the launch customer of the ATR 42-600S, with an order for 10 aircraft. This new version of the ATR 42-600 offers capabilities to take-off from and land on runways as short as 800m, with the ‘S’ representing STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing). ATR is currently finalising the process for official launch of the 42-600S and received authorisation to take in orders for the aircraft, subject to the final confirmation for launch from the company’s board of directors, expected before the end of this year.

Elix’s desire to be the first lessor to offer slots on the new ATR 42-600S is part of its strategy to strengthen its lead as the largest all-turboprop lessor in the world, and continue to focus on the performance-intensive segment of the turboprop market. This is the first time the company has placed a strategic order directly with an aircraft manufacturer and its choice of the ATR 42-600S demonstrates confidence in the quality and value of the aircraft, as well as the market potential that the STOL version will have in the regional aviation market. The aircraft will be delivered between 2022 and 2024.

The ATR 42-600S has a positive commercial outlook, with 1,200 in-service turboprops of between 30 and 50 seats that will need to be replaced within the next few years. The economic performance and operational flexibility offered by the ATR 42-600S makes the variant ideally placed to meet this requirement. The aircraft will be configured with 50 seats, but will be able to operate at the same costs as a 30-seater.

John Moore, CEO of Elix Aviation Capital, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to be at the forefront of innovation in our market. This new aircraft fits well into Elix’s long-term strategy to offer a wide range of specialised and complete solutions to regional turboprop operators around the world and to be a leading and innovative lessor in the market. The aircraft has the capability to provide significant advantages to airlines, boosting revenue potential and opening up new airports with shorter runways. There are communities all over the world who will be able to benefit from the increased connectivity that this aircraft will supply.”

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