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Interview: Strong Market for ATR in Korea

At ADEX 2019 we are promoting our ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 models which are ideally suited to the Korean market: Jean-Daniel Kosowski. ATR is bullish on its prospects in South Korea, where it sees four key market segments for its regional transport aircraft family.

“There is renewed interest in Korea for regional aircraft and a growing appreciation for the versatility and flexibility of regional aircraft,” Jean-Daniel Kosowski, Sales Director for ATR in Charge of Korea tells Daily News in an exclusive interview.

Kosowski offers that the ATR is the best aircraft for developing new routes and markets and that the existence of a strong customer network in the region is a major factor for potential operators.

Edited Excerpts of the Interview:

What will ATR be showcasing at Seoul ADEX 2019?
We participated in ADEX two years ago as well. We feel it is important to be at ADEX because it is the leading airshow in Korea and we want to show our support for Korea and its aviation industry. We also had some good meetings two years ago at the previous ADEX show. There is renewed interest in Korea for regional aircraft and a growing appreciation for the versatility and flexibility of regional aircraft.

At ADEX 2019 we are promoting our ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 models which we see are ideally suited to the Korean market. We see there are four key markets for the ATR in Korea

  • launching new air services connect- ing second and third-tier cities in Korea direct.
  • launching new short-haul international air services linking Korea to northeast China
  • launching new short-haul international air services linking cities in Korea, especially those in the south, to cities in southern Japan
  • launching new air services to the new island airports that will soon be built in Korea.

What is the potential that ATR sees in the Korea market for commercial turboprops?
Currently the domestic flights are mostly north-south and nearly all the flights are routed through either Seoul or Jeju. But we see there are opportunities to link cities in the east and west direct, particularly those cities in the east that are not connected to high-speed rail. South Korea also has alternative international gateways such as Busan, Cheongju, Muan and Daegu.

So, you already have international travellers flying into these cities. For these airports to become thriving air hubs, what needs to happen next is for domestic air services to be developed from these alternative international gateways cities. International travellers will want to stay in these cities and then be able to travel to other parts of the country. And when I say other parts of the country, I don’t just mean Seoul and Jeju. There are so many other parts of the country that people can explore.

Also, you will notice that to generate repeat visitation, you need to offer some- thing new. If people have already been to Seoul and Jeju, it means on their next trip they will want to try some place new in Korea. So, there’s clearly an opportunity to develop new routes and destinations in South Korea using ATR aircraft. The ATR is the best aircraft for developing new routes and markets.

Please provide an update on Hi Air, which plans to launch soon using ATR 72-500s?
Hi Air recently took delivery of its second ATR 72-500 and plans to launch opera- tions in the coming months. It is currently going through the air operator certificate (AOC) application process with the regulator. The airline is based in Ulsan and plans to launch domestic services first and later look to expand internationally.

It chose the ATR aircraft because it has at least 40 per cent lower fuel burn and at least 40 per cent lower CO2 emissions than jet aircraft in the same size category. It is a new airline, so the fact that there are many ATR operators in the Asia Pacific region and ATR has a strong customer support network in the region was also a factor.

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