ATR launches its new generation Evo aircraft

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Today, regional aircraft manufacturer ATR announced plans for the next generation of its best-selling family of regional aircraft, the ATR “EVO”, which is expected to enter service by 2030.

The next generation of aircraft will feature a new powertrain with hybrid capability and improvements in performance, economy and durability. The new eco-design will include new propellers, improved systems and an improved cabin. The aircraft will remain a twin-engine turboprop capable of running on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

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The Toulouse-based company is the world’s leading manufacturer of regional aircraft with customers in more than 100 countries around the world and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Stefano Bortoli, Chairman and CEO of ATR, highlighted the potential of the next generation to reduce emissions around the world:

“Our next generation of aircraft will be a step forward in responsible flying through progressive new innovations. When it enters the market, the new ATR “EVO” will lead the way towards a decarbonized future for aviation.”

A significant step forward for sustainable regional flight.

ATR currently supplies several models of its turboprop aircraft to regional carriers around the world and is working to lead the charge towards decarbonization. The manufacturer recently reaffirmed its desire to reduce maintenance costs and emissions in the Asia-Pacific region, where it maintains a significant presence. The region contains a considerable number of isolated communities that depend on these short-haul aircraft to transport cargo and passengers.

ATR will save money through 20% less fuel consumption and an overall 20% reduction in maintenance costs. The aircraft will also feature improved climb time performance and an improved cabin, which will use lighter bio-based and recycled materials.

The future ATR ‘EVO’ aims to be more economical than its current iteration, with customers predicting double-digit operating cost savings. Fabrice Vautier, Senior Vice President Commercial at ATR, highlighted the benefits for regional airlines:

“This means airlines can serve narrow routes more cost-effectively and communities can benefit from greater connectivity, more essential services and increased economic development.”

“Our goal is to continue to offer customers and society ever more inclusive and responsible air travel.”

ATR aircraft are widely used on short routes and offer significant cost savings compared to regional jets. Photo: ATR

When powered by traditional jet fuel, the “EVO” aircraft will emit more than 50% less CO2 than a regional jet. When using SAF at 100%, its emissions will be close to zero.

Current models are also adapted to use SAF.

The manufacturer successfully completed a series of flights earlier this year using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). More than seven hours of flight time were flown with a prototype ATR 72-600 aircraft using NESTE’s second-generation biofuel, which is sourced from renewable waste and residual raw materials. ATR aims to have its aircraft certified to fly 100% SAF by 2025.

The flights are a collaboration between ATR, NESTE and Braathens Regional Airlines. The Scandinavian carrier hopes to operate one of its ATR aircraft entirely on sustainable fuels before the end of the year. The estimated CO2 emission reductions for an ATR turboprop flying only on SAF in both engines on regional routes are estimated at 82%.

The next generation will feature hybrid engine technology to reduce maintenance costs and emissions. Photo: ATR

The Finnish fuel supplier recently signed agreements with United Airlines, Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic and Boeing to deliver SAF. Neste currently produces 100,000 tonnes of SAF per year and is expected to increase to 1.5 million tonnes (1.875 billion litres) per year by the end of 2023.

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