ATR and lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) have closed a $241 million deal here at the Dubai Airshow for five ATR 72-600 regional turboprops, plus five options. ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato and Gecas president and CEO Norman Liu signed the contract here on Sunday. “These aircraft will support the strong growth in regional air transport we anticipate over the coming years,” Liu said. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2015. Previously at the show, ATR (Stand 1424) also announced an order from Saudi Arabia’s Alpha Star Aviation Services.
Aeromar, the second largest regional carrier in Mexico, has taken delivery of its first of two ATR 72-600s, making it the first operator of the 70-seat turboprop in Mexico and Central America. The airline is a long-standing ATR customer, with 15 of the manufacturer’s ATR regional aircraft in its fleet: the new ATR 72-600, as well as 10 ATR 42-500s and four ATR 42-320s.
At a ceremony held yesterday at the Paris Air Show, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) chairman Martin Møller signed an order for 90 ATR turboprops, including 35 firm (30 ATR 72-600s and five ATR 42-600s), valued at more than $2.1 billion. The first ATR will be delivered to NAC in the fall. ATR is here at chalet B345 and has an aircraft at Static E.
ATR and Rheinland Air Service, a German company specializing in aircraft maintenance, signed a service and collaboration agreement appointing RAS a new member of ATR’s network of partner maintenance centers. RAS has maintenance facilities in Monchengladbach providing heavy maintenance for ATR airframes. ATR currently has approximately 60 operators in Europe. RAS focuses on aircraft maintenance for different versions of the ATR 42 and the ATR 72, and services the Boeing 737, Airbus A319, Bombardier regional airliners and Fokkers, among others.
Hailing an exceptional last two years that have accounted for fully 20 percent of all the 1,250 ATR twin turboprop airliners sold to date, ATR North America sales and marketing vice president Mark Neely pointed out how evenly distributed the European airframer’s customers are geographically.
Irish carrier Aer Arann took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft last Friday. The May 3 delivery marked the first of eight of the new -600 model that the airline has ordered to replace its existing fleet of ATR72-200s and smaller ATR42-300s.
Despite the difficulty ATR has encountered in penetrating the U.S. turboprop market, company CEO Filippo Bagnato continues to express optimism that the Franco-Italian partnership will experience a resurgence in what perhaps represents its final frontier of a sort. Now controlling some 60 percent of the market for 50- to 90-seat airplanes based on unit sales backlogs, the last Western maker of 50-seat-category turboprops sees itself as a potential lifeline for small U.S. cities and communities that can no longer support the services of regional jets of any size.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued four safety recommendations after its investigation into the January 27, 2009 loss-of-control crash of an Empire Airlines ATR 42-320 at Lubbock Airport (LBB), Texas. The NTSB said the flight crew failed to monitor and maintain a safe airspeed during an approach in icing conditions.
ATR announced more than $600 million worth of firm orders at the show yesterday, led by an eight-unit deal with Taiwan’s TransAsia for ATR 72-600s. Meanwhile, the Franco-Italian manufacturer logged a separate pair of orders, each for two ATR 72-600s, from Air Lease Corporation and Lao Airlines.
ATR’s 50-seat 42-600 turboprop was certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) late last month, bringing to fruition a test campaign that saw the larger, 70-seat ATR 72-600 gain certification in May last year. The aircraft have been updated with glass cockpits and modern avionics systems along with other refinements, including the Armonia cabin designed by Italian car designer Giugiaro.
- Page 1