The high-density seating configuration option for the ATR 72-600 has received its certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Using the existing airframe, ATR achieved the new high-density configuration by optimizing the pitch and adjusting the forward cargo compartment, bringing the aircraft maximum capacity from 74 to 78 seats. ATR also plans to make the option available as a retrofit.
Cebu Pacific became the first airline to choose the high-density seating in a deal for 16 new ATR 72-600s announced at June’s Paris Air Show. Schedules call for the first aircraft in the 78-seat layout to enter commercial service next August. ATR calls the extra seating “very valuable” for airlines operating in regions where traffic grows rapidly and demand is highly sensitive to fare fluctuations.
“The demand comes from airlines, especially in the Southeast Asian market, requesting to further optimize the cabin space and to increase the number of available seats for regional flights,” said Thierry Casale, ATR senior vice president of programs. “With the lowest seat-mile cost in the regional market and unparalleled operating economics, the 78-seat ATR 72-600 turboprop is a perfect combination between comfort and efficiency.”