ATR To Cut Aircraft Production As Demand Falls

ATR has announced today that it is looking to reduce its aircraft output. The announcement comes amid the worldwide crisis that has significantly cut travel demand, in turn negating the immediate need for most new aircraft.

ATR, Production Target, 2020
ATR is planning to reduce its aircraft output during 2020. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The aviation industry has come to a standstill as a result of the current global crisis of unprecedented proportions. Airbus, which owns 50% of ATR, had already announced reduced production targets last month. However, now the twin-engine turboprop manufacturer has also said that it is looking to cut production. The drop in output comes despite an increase in ATR orders of late.

What’s been said?

In an interview with Reuters, ATR’s CEO Stefano Bortoli said that his company was planning to reduce its aircraft output in 2020. The industry has seen a fall in demand, tied with difficulties in delivering aircraft as a response to the current crisis. To deal with the latter point, part-owner Airbus has begun to offer contactless aircraft delivery.

ATR delivered 68 aircraft in 2019. While Bortoli mentioned that fewer aircraft would be delivered this year, he didn’t elaborate on how much this figure would fall. Indeed, he told the publication,

“Of course we are going to reduce; we will see later how much”

ATR, Production Target, 2020
The cuts are being planned in response to the exceptional crisis currently facing the whole aviation industry. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The cut in production comes despite a spike in aircraft sales. ATR’s sales increased by over 50% from 52 units in 2018 to 79 in 2019. However, a drop in deliveries has been noticed across the board. Boeing’s deliveries fell by 66% to just 50 aircraft in Q1. Meanwhile, Airbus delivered only 14 aircraft in April, down 60% from the 36 aircraft it had delivered in the previous month.

About ATR

ATR’s final assembly line is based in Toulouse, France. This airport is also the home to parent company Airbus, who owns 50% of the manufacturer. The other 50% is held by the Italian aerospace company Leonardo. ATR solely produces turboprop aircraft, the ATR 42 and ATR 72.

The narrowbody of the ATR family means that its aircraft have a 2-2 configuration. The manufacturer has produced a range of iterations of the family. The most recent to join are the 42-600 and the 72-600 series.

ATR, Production Target, 2020
ATR produces two models of turboprop aircraft from the same aircraft family. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

According to the manufacturer, the ATR 42-600 will seat 48 passengers with a seat pitch of 30 inches. Meanwhile, the 72-600 will seat 70 passengers with the same pitch. While the ATR 42 family has always been designed for 48 passengers with 30 inches of pitch, this isn’t the case for the 72.

The ATR 72-200 was designed to seat 66 passengers with 30 inches of pitch. To accommodate the six additional passengers, the manufacturer has reconfigured the aircraft’s interior as opposed to extending the fuselage.

Simple Flying has contacted ATR for comment concerning this story.

What do you think about ATR’s drop in production? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!