Franco-Italian turboprop builder Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has launched a so-called aging structures program for its ATR 42 and ATR 72 family to extend the airframes’ design life from the original 70,000 cycles to 105,000 cycles. The upgrade, scheduled to take effect early next year, would equate to an “economic life” of more than 40 years per airframe, assuming an average use of 2,500 flight hours annually.
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.
Avions de Transport Regional landed firm orders for 20 new airplanes from four customers at last month’s Paris Air Show. Finnish regional airline Finncomm signed for eight 48-seat ATR 42-500s, Corsica’s CCM for six ATR 72-500s, New Caledonia’s Air Caledonie for a still undefined mix of three ATR 42-500s and ATR 72-500s, and Air Madagascar for two ATR 72-500s and a single ATR 42-500.
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