The last remaining European operator of the British Aerospace ATP turboprop airliner retired the type on 24 February after years using the type to haul cargo.
West Atlantic of Sweden, as well as its UK subsidiary, had been flying these aircraft for many years – long after airlines retired the type from passenger service.
Now they’re gone, are any other ATPs still flying around the world?
History of the BAe ATP
The ATP, or Advanced Turboprop, was a development of the HS/BAe 748 aircraft produced by British Aerospace in the 1980s.
It introduced a number of improvements, including greater passenger capacity, improved engines, avionics and cockpit, and operational savings over the previous airliner, which dated from the 1960s.
Aimed at regional operators and commuter services, the ATP proved popular particularly in the UK, and also saw service with some airlines in Europe and North America.
Key operators of the BAe ATP included:
- Air Europa Express
- Air Wisconsin (operating as United Express)
- Biman Bangladesh
- British Airways
- British Midland
- SATA Air Acores
As the number of passenger operators dwindled, many of the 65 aircraft built were converted into freighters and found their way to airlines like West Atlantic, flying for both West Atlantic Sweden and West Atlantic UK.
The final passenger operator in Europe was NextJet – a Swedish domestic operator who ceased flying in May 2018.
Final West Air ATP Flights
West Air Sweden had retired much of its BAe ATP fleet during the past two years, with a few airframes soldiering on.
The final flights took place on 6th January 2023 (SE-LGX), 9th February (SE-MAM) and 24th February (SE-LGZ). These saw the aircraft positioning to the airline’s base at Malmo, where they remain stored.
Are Any BAe ATPs Still Flying?
Most of the BAe ATPs that have been active recently are over 30 years of age, and thus offer little in the way of remaining lifespan.
Therefore their future is uncertain, with many other ATPs having been scrapped or permanently withdrawn from use in recent years.
While little is known of their day-to-day operations, a number of ATPs have escaped to presumed active service with other carriers. They include:
This Kenya-based airline has five ATPs assigned to it. One is thought to be in passenger configuration, while the others are freighters. They are:
- 5Y-CKO (2006)
- 5Y-GME (2023)
- 5Y-GMF (2045)
- 5Y-GMG (2015)
- 5Y-GMH (2017)
Deraya Air Taxi
This Indonesian airline also had four ATPs in its fleet until recently.
Two have been written off, and the remaining two – both freighters – have been grounded since mid-2021. It is unknown whether these will be reactivated in the future.
So it seems chances of ever flying on a BAe ATP again are slim, and active examples are next to all gone, with aged stored examples unlikely to fly again.
West Atlantic’s Future Fleet
After operating a total of 40 BAe ATPs in its history, West Atlantic is now looking to more modern aircraft types as its business progresses and grows.
Today, the West Atlantic fleet (across both Swedish and UK divisions) comprises:
- 4x ATR 72-212(F)
- 4x Boeing 737-300(F)
- 7x Boeing 737-400(F)
- 5x Boeing 737-800(F)/(BCF)