Japanese start-up Feel Air Holdings has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with ATR - Avions de Transport Régional (EVX, Toulouse Blagnac) for the proposed purchase of thirty-six ATR42 and ATR72 aircraft.

Announced during the 2022 Farnborough Air Show, the tentative order consists of ATR42-600s, ATR72-600s, as well as the STOL-capable ATR42-600S.

The company plans to launch services in 2024 with Feel Air East (Tokyo Narita), growing to five regional franchises by 2028. It aims to develop new regional routes throughout the Japanese archipelago, which has close to 100 operational airports.

“Over the coming years, Feel Air Holdings will establish at least five regional airlines, with a fleet that will ultimately comprise 36 ATR aircraft," Hideki Ide, Chief Executive Officer of Feel Air Holdings, said in a statement. "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.”

The only operators of ATR equipment in Japan, the ch-aviation fleets module shows, include China Eastern Airlines (one ATR42-600), HAC - Hokkaido Air System (three ATR42-600s), Japan Air Commuter (eleven ATR42-600s), and Oriental Air Bridge with two ATR42-600s. Another start-up, Toki Air, is also planning to induct the ATR42-600S as well as ATR72-600s.