Trinidad and Tobago’s flag carrier Caribbean Airlines has officially signed a contract to order nine ATR 72-600 regional turboprops, valued by joint-venture manufacturer ATR at some US$200 million.
The deal follows a Memorandum of Understanding announced in September 2010 and will make the airline a new operator of ATR regional aircraft. Deliveries of ATR 72-600s to Caribbean Airlines will start in October 2011.
According to Franco-Italian group ATR, Caribbean Airlines’ aircraft will be configured with 68 seats and equipped with the new ATR -600 series avionics suite and with the new Armonia Cabin, which features new lighter seats and larger overhead bins.
Caribbean Airlines will use its new ATR 72-600s to replace its current fleet of five Bombardier Dash 8-300 turboprops on domestic routes, and add new service frequencies linking Trinidad and Tobago and surrounding destinations. In addition, some of the new ATRs will be operated on the network of Air Jamaica, recently acquired by Caribbean Airlines.
ATR has today more than 160 aircraft in operation and on order with nearly 30 airlines in the Caribbean/Latin America region.
“In the last months we have experienced a strong commercial success in the Americas, which has represented almost 50 per cent of our order intakes in 2010,” says Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR. “The growing economies of the region are strongly developing their regional connectivity. Our ATR aircraft are optimally positioned to answer to their needs by providing unrivalled performances on routes under 400 nautical miles, both in terms of operating costs and environmental impact. Also, the ATR aircraft provide the right answer to the increasing demands in terms of passenger comfort level.”
Formed in 1981, ATR manufactures advanced 50-to-74-seat regional turboprop aircraft. A joint venture and equal partnership between European aerospace companies Alenia Aeronautica and EADS, ATR has sold more than 1,000 aircraft and has 165 operators in 90 countries. ATR operators have cumulated more than 20 million flights.
ATR is headquartered in Toulouse, France. The company is certified to ISO 14001, the worldwide standard for environmental management and sustainability.