Aircraft Profile: ATR 42-500
ATR 42-500 - good economics in short supply
Airfinance Journal finds
out whether the ATR 42-500 is benefiting from the apparent
revival in the turboprop market.
The original ATR 42-300 entered
service at the end of 1985.
The first upgrade was the ATR 42-320, which incorporated
more powerful PW121 engines, aimed particularly at
improving hot-and-high performance.
The -500 series was a major upgrade with new, more powerful
engines, new propellers, increased design weights and an
improved passenger cabin.
The ATR 42-500 was first certificated in 1995. The larger
ATR 72-500 followed and has outsold its smaller stablemate
in recent years.
A supplementary type certificate (STC) exists to convert
all ATR 42 variants to cargo aircraft. FedEx, UPS and DHL
are major operators of the types.
ATR has introduced -600 versions of both the -42
and the -72.
The -600 model brings further significant improvements in
performance and available payload.
New cabin design and updated avionics are also part of the
package, and ATR says the new variants will have reduced
The ATR 72-600 was the first to be developed and entered
service in 2011, reflecting market demand. The ATR 42-600
was certificated in June this year.
Further developments beyond the -600 are some years away
but these are likely to focus on an aircraft larger than
the ATR 72.
"The operating lease market
is buoyant and likely to grow in the near term, enhancing
remarketing opportunities for quality ATR 42-500
Angus Mackay, principal, ICF SH&E
Angus Mackay, principal
Following the end of production of Bombardier's Q300
aircraft, the ATR 42 is practically unopposed in the
50-seat category, which augurs well for future demand,
strong value retention and healthy lease rental
The published availability of ATR 42-500 aircraft is nil
with low-time aircraft in Easa (European Aviation Safety
Agency) configuration and in good maintenance condition
particularly sought after by operators globally, and by
key lessor Nordic Aviation Capital.
Some softening of late-production ATR 42-500 values is
apparent as the replacement ATR 42-600 programme gains
traction, while demand for earlier-build aircraft is
improving relative to new aircraft as aircraft financing
in general proves problematic and buyers opt for older,
more readily available aircraft that perform broadly the
same mission as new aircraft at significant savings in
the total cost of ownership.
The operating lease market is buoyant and likely to grow
in the near term, enhancing remarketing opportunities for
quality ATR 42- 500 aircraft.
Gueric Dechavanne, vice-president, commercial
Demand for the ATR 42- 500 continues to be strong because
of its attractive operating economics, proven reliability
of the family of products.
Market values and lease rates for the type have remained
stable in recent years as well. With the price of oil
continuing to remain high and many developing countries
growing their infrastructure to support the current or
potential growth in air travel, Collateral Verifications
sees this trend continuing for the foreseeable
The introduction of the ATR 42-600 will most likely push
operators looking for new aircraft towards the latest
model. As there are no longer any -500 aircraft on order,
we see this being the case with several operators
However, with fewer than 20 orders for the ATR 42 variant
of the -600, it appears that most operators are opting
for the larger ATR 72-600 to accommodate the further
growth potential in many of the routes this type of
MACH TWO LTD
John Trevett, director and senior Istat
The ATR 42-500 has been around for many years, as has the
larger ATR 72-500 that has taken the lion's share of the
interest and orders.
Relatively few have been transacted and generally they
have held their value well compared with similar-vintage
Availability is limited but as -600 deliveries gain
momentum we can expect to see more aircraft moving into
secondary markets, although it is difficult to see how
well they will fare given the parlous state of used
aircraft financing - and it is still early days for
-500 cargo conversions.
The replacement -600 is a limited development of the -500
with some refinements and modest increases in maximum
weight and speed.
The main advantage deriving from the -600 series is the
new PW127M engine standard with a range of power ratings
available across the entire -500/-600 range, which will
help maintain the competitiveness of the -500