The ATR 42 is a twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner built in France and Italy by ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional). ATR and some Airbus models have their final assembly in Toulouse, and share resources and technology. The name "42" comes from the aircraft's standard seating, which varies from 40 to 52. The aircraft was the basis for the ATR 72.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. A stretched variant of the ATR 42, the aircraft seats up to 78 passengers in a single-class configuration, and is operated by a two-pilot crew.
The ATR 42–300 was announced in 1981, making its maiden flight on 16 August 1984; French and Italian certification followed in September 1985 and its first revenue flight was in December with Air Littoral of France. This initial version of the ATR42 was on production line until 1996. The next upgrade for product was ATR42-320 (also withdrawn in 1996) differed in having the more powerful PW-121 engines for better hot and high performance. ATR42-300QC is a quick change freight/passenger version of the standard −300 series.
Passengers are boarded using the rear door (which is rare for a passenger aircraft) as the front door is used to load cargo. Finnair ordered their ATR 72s with a front passenger door so that they could use the jet bridges at Helsinki–Vantaa airport. Air New Zealand's standard rear door aircraft can use jet bridges at airports with this equipment. A tail stand must be installed when passengers are boarding or disembarking in case the nose lifts off the ground, which is common if the aircraft is loaded or unloaded incorrectly.