As Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR readies for the first flight of its new 600 Series this month, the company finds itself in a “comfortable position” by virtue of a backlog of 162 airplanes worth some $3 billion–“pretty much the largest [the company] has achieved in the program,” according to ATR senior vice president John Moore. Still, Moore didn’t deny the difficulty ATR has encountered selling airplanes in North America.
Franco-Italian regional turboprop maker ATR continued to defy predictions for a tepid sales showing at Le Bourget yesterday when it inked a purchase contract for 10 of its new ATR 72-600s with Spain’s Air Nostrum and another firm order with Royal Air Maroc for four ATR 72-600s and a pair of smaller 42-600s.
Royal Air Maroc is one of the most recent customers to sign up for the new 600 Series of ATR-42s and ATR-72s being developed by Avions de Transport Regional. The new aircraft is due to make its first flight next month as the French-Italian manufacturer heads for projected certification in the second half of 2010.
EADS, mas to create regional MRO MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian Airline System (MAS), and EADS SECA, a Pratt & Whitney-designated aircraft engine repair and overhaul unit of the EADS Group, plan to establish a joint venture company just outside Kuala Lumpur to support and maintain regional airplanes powered by PW100-series turboprops, the companies announced last month.
Romanian flag carrier Tarom took delivery of its first ATR 72-500 last month under the terms of a $37 million contract it signed last year for two of the twin turboprops. The airline currently operates a fleet of seven ATR 42-500s and will take delivery of its second new ATR 72 later this year.
Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has quietly launched an executive version of its ATR 42 and 72 regional airliners. In fact, there are already seven corporate or VIP ATR operators.
Moroccan flag carrier Royal Air Maroc signed a firm order with ATR for six of the Franco-Italian manufacturer’s 600 Series turboprops now under development, the companies announced today. The order, which calls for delivery of a pair of 48-seat ATR 42-600s and four 70-seat ATR 72-600s, includes an option for a further two ATR 72-600s.
A court in Palermo, Sicily, has sentenced Capt. Shafik Al Gharbi and copilot Ali Kebaier Lassoued to 10 years in prison for failing to take adequate emergency measures before crash landing their Tuninter ATR 72 turboprop into the sea, leading to the death of 16 people on Aug. 6, 2005. Five other employees of the Tunisian domestic airline and charter company received sentences of between eight and nine years in jail.
Embraer delivered the first of 30 E-Jets ordered by Lufthansa–a 116-seat E195–
Avions de Transport Regional has scheduled the first flight of a prototype ATR 72-600 regional turboprop for early this summer, following completion of the first “power-on” test in December in Toulouse, France. The ATR 42/72 variant that will supersede the -500 features a new flight deck supplied by Thales.