4th November 1981
Aerospatiale (co-founder of current Airbus Group) and Aeritalia (the predecessor to Alenia Aermacchi) merge their two separate, but similar, regional aircraft designs into a single effort. Both companies had been working on their respective aircraft concepts (the Aerospatiale’s AS 35 and the Aeritalia AIT 230) since 1978. The Cooperation Agreement launching the ATR program is signed in Paris. Aeritalia and Aerospatiale chairmen, Renato Bonifacio and Jacques Mitterrand, respectively, launch the ATR 42.