Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras has taken delivery in Toulouse of the first ATR 72-600 regional turboprop aircraft to be delivered to a Latin American customer.
Fast-growing carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras has placed orders for a total of 30 ATR 72-600s, with options an additional 10 aircraft. Azul was founded in December 2008, and in less than three years has developed an extensive network of 40 destinations throughout Brazil. In addition to its ATR 72s, Azul operates a jet fleet of Embraer 190s and 195s.
With the October 7 delivery of its first ATR 72-600, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras becomes one of the first operators of the newest-generation ATR regional turboprop.
According to ATR, Azul will use its new ATR 72-600s to continue to support its growing national jet network with shorter-haul regional routes. With its current fleet of 8 ATR 72s, Azul serves more cities within the state of Sao Paulo from its Campinas base than any other carrier.
In recent years Brazil has become a booming market for ATR, whose aircraft are optimally suited for the expansion of domestic short-haul routes due to their low operating and maintenance costs, which ATR claims are up to 45 per cent less than those of its competitors.
The environmental friendliness of the ATR turboprops, which produce up to 50 per cent less CO2 than regional jets, are also among the reasons for their popularity in Brazil, according to the Franco-Italian manufacturer. Today there are 50 ATR aircraft operating in Brazil , a figure expected to more than double within the next three years.
“We are delighted to introduce the new ATR -600 series in Brazil and to be among the very first operators of the newest generation turboprops in the world,” says David Neeleman, founder and chairman of the board of Azul . “In addition to offering our passengers the highest standards of comfort, we are committed to making flying more accessible to Brazilian customers in terms of both frequency and cost. This aircraft fits this mission perfectly.”
“With the new ATR 72-600s, the Brazilian regional passengers will have the opportunity of experiencing the new ‘Armonia cabin’, which features the most advanced technologies in terms of comfort, including larger overhead bins and thinner seats with more legroom,” remarks Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR.
“Brazil is a very dynamic market and we are convinced that the performance of the ATRs, coupled with the high levels of comfort proposed to passengers, will continue providing us expansion opportunities across the country and in the whole of Latin America,” adds Bagnato.