Accident investigators have determined that Tunisian mechanics replaced a faulty fuel gauge in the ATR 72 that crashed off the northeast coast of Sicily on August 6 with the wrong model, a mistake that apparently led the doomed airplane’s pilots to upload less fuel than they needed to complete their trip from Bari, Italy, to Djerba, Tunisia.
Siberian regional airline UTair has selected the Franco-Italian ATR 42 as its primary growth platform in the first-ever open tender for regional turboprops held by a Russian airline. UTair, ATR and Irish leasing company Magellan Air signed the respective letters of intent for five used ATR 42-300s on August 5, some three weeks before the parties expected to sign a firm contract.
An extended brake service life of up to 40 percent is offered to ATR 72 operators as a result of close collaboration between Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems (DABS) and Avions de Transport Regional in Toulouse.
Avions de Transport Regional yesterday landed the first pair of three orders it plans to announce this week at the show, when Finnish regional airline Finncomm signed for eight 48-seat ATR 42-500s and New Caledonia’s Air Caledonie inked a deal for a still undefined mix of three ATR 42-500s and ATR 72-500s.
Singapore-headquartered Prime Aerospace, which has an office here in the United Arab Emirates, has been appointed the exclusive sales representative for the Middle East and North Africa by Deer Park, New York-based Seal Dynamics.
Here at the Dubai 2005 show today, India’s Kingfisher Airlines is expected to order 20 ATR 72-500s, and to take options on an additional 15 of the 68-seat twin turboprop. The ATR 72s are to be delivered during a three-year period beginning next March and will be used to serve regional routes on the subcontinent.
Six months after beginning operations, Kingfisher Airlines has confirmed it has ordered 20 ATR 72-500 twin turboprops valued at $350 million and taken options on a further 15 worth about $200 million. Deliveries from Avions de Transport Regional are scheduled to begin in March 2006, when they will join eight Airbus A320s and three A319s.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines exercised options on another 15 ATR 72-500s yesterday during French President Jacques Chirac’s official visit to the subcontinent. The estimated $270 million deal included options on another 20 airplanes and increased to 35 the number of ATR 72s on which Kingfisher has placed firm orders.
As an aid to combating piracy in this region, Alenia has offered the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) the use of two previously owned ATR 42 MP (maritime patrol) aircraft to be operated by a local company on its behalf. Reporting to the defense minister, the MMEA began operations in November last year under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has signed an exclusive five-year agreement with Avions de Transport Regional to maintain engines for Air Deccan’s fleet of ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprop aircraft. The two-and-a-half-year-old Air Deccan offers short-haul domestic service in India.