Brazilian regional carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas has introduced the recently certificated ATR 72-600 turboprop regional airliner into its fleet and has placed a new order for ATR 72-600s directly with ATR.
Passaredo Linhas Aéreas agreed to lease four ATR 72-600s from Los Angeles-based leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) and took delivery of the first of the four regional airliners at ATR’s production facility in Toulouse on May 22.
At the delivery ceremony for the first leased aircraft, Passaredo revealed it had newly signed a contract to order 10 more ATR 72-600s directly from ATR and had taken options on 10 more. If Passaredo exercises all its options, the list-price value of the order would be some $450 million, according to the manufacturer.
The airline will introduce the four ATR 72-600s leased from ALC and the 10 aircraft on firm order from ATR in 2012, 2013 and 2014, bringing to 14 its total fleet of ATR 72-600s by 2014.
With the arrival of the new 70-seat ATR72-600s, Passaredo will progressively add passenger capacity and substantially reduce seat costs on its regional network, according to ATR.
The manufacturer notes that Passaredo singed an interline agreement with Brazilian low-cost giant GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes in 2010 and will further develop its regional network by introducing new routes across the country. GOL has about a 40 per cent share of the domestic Brazilian market.
“We are pleased to add Passaredo to our growing list of customers,” said Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief executive officer of Air Lease Corporation, at the Passaredo delivery ceremony. “Out of a total of 12 ATR 72-600s ordered from ATR since July 2010, we have already placed 10 with Brazilian carriers. This is clearly underlining the dynamism of the Brazilian market and that ATRs perfectly match the requirements of the regional operators in Brazil.”
Udvar-Hazy added: “We are convinced that, due to their strong and increasing attractiveness among regional carriers around the world, the new ATRs will keep providing us with substantial business opportunities in the near future.”
“The ATR aircraft is proving itself as the right tool for regional operations in Brazil, as it combines highly reliable performance at small airfields and short runways with the highest standards of passenger comfort and very limited environmental footprint,” said Luiz Felicio, president of Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. “Both from a cost and modernity perspective, the ATR 72-600 aircraft is definitely the best-suited regional aircraft for short-haul operations in Brazil”.
“We are experiencing an extraordinary success in Brazil, where we have booked orders with regional carriers for some 50 ATRs within the last couple of years,” remarked Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR.
“This growth of regional operations in Brazil is also creating business opportunities for leasing companies that have invested in the ATR product,” added Bagnato. “Lessors’ interest in ATRs is dramatically increasing. In 2011, the best commercial year for ATR, leasing companies represented more than 20 per cent of the total aircraft sales.”
ATR is long established in Latin America and the Caribbean region, with more than 130 aircraft flying in the livery of 29 operators, including more than 60 aircraft currently being operated in Brazil. Within the next three years, the number of ATRs flying in Brazil will grow beyond 100 aircraft, according to ATR.
Based in Riberao Preto, 300 kilometers north of Sao Paulo, Passaredo Linhas Aéreas began operations in 1995. Its already operates 14 Embraer 145 jets and the 16 ATR 72-600s and ATR 72-500s it has agreed to lease or buy will join its existing fleet.
Passaredo currently operates 104 routes to 26 destinations in Brazil. As a result of its interline agreement with Passaredo, GOL will add new destinations and direct connections to its route network.
According to ATR, given Passaredo’s intention of maintaining its regional identity, the partnership with GOL will give an important boost to Passaredo’s operations and will allow the regional carrier to offer a wider range of destinations.