Japanese startup regional airline Feel Air selects ATR aircraft

Aviation Updates Philippines – Japan-based regional airline Feel Air has selected ATR aircraft to launch services across Japan. 

 Image: Window view during winter from an ATR aircraft (Credit: ATR)

During the Farnborough Airshow, Feel Air has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 36 ATR aircraft. The ATR aircraft included Feel Air's plans for its domestic operations include the ATR 42-600, ATR 72-600, and the short take-off and landing variant ATR 42-600S.

Feel Air (Feel Air Holdings) is a new Japanese regional airline franchise company that would build new regional connections throughout the Japanese archipelago. The new airline aims to improve inter- and intra-regional mobility in the Japan which has close to 100 airports in operation. Its first airline – Feel Air EAST - is scheduled to enter service in 2024.

“Feel Air Holdings aims to bring a new dynamic to Japanese regional air travel, making it more versatile, more meaningful, and more accessible to all. Thanks to their reduced CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency, ATR aircraft can help us to do this in a sustainable manner, allowing us to contribute actively to local communities while also protecting Japan’s many beautiful natural landscapes,”| said Feel Air President Taiichi Kojima.

“Over the coming years, Feel Air Holdings will establish at least five regional airlines, with a fleet that will ultimately comprise 36 ATR aircraft. Our fundamental goal is to improve regional air mobility in Japan by connecting local destinations that currently do not have air service, thereby creating stronger links between regional businesses and people, generating new markets, and enriching local economies. ATR aircraft play an essential part in our business strategy because they are the ideal size for such regional operations and demonstrate exceptional operational efficiency,” added Feel Air Holdings CEO Hideki Ide.

ATR's CEO Stefano Bortoli added: “Air transport is crucial for Japan’s islands and regions, and the establishment of Feel Air will help connect Japan’s regions affordably and sustainably. At ATR, we want to help ensure that aviation and Feel Air in particular can contribute to a prosperous future for Japan. Together, we will explore many opportunities for our versatile and sustainable turboprops in the coming years, to further support Japan’s economic development and its need for quick, reliable and responsible essential services.“

Currently with 15 aircraft operating in Japan with three airlines, ATR has identified Japan as a market for growth. As 2 more airlines in Japan will introduce ATR aircraft to their fleets, ATR stated it sees a potential for 100 of its aircraft operating in Japan in the medium term.