Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean Airlines has ordered nine ATR 72-600 turboprop regional airliners in a $200 million deal, becoming a new ATR customer and operator in the process.
The carrier’s ATR 72-600s will be configured with 68 seats and equipped with the new ATR -600 series avionics suite and with the manufacturer’s new Armonia Cabin. Deliveries of the aircraft to Caribbean Airlines will start in late 2011.
Caribbean Airlines will use its fleet of new ATR 72-600s to replace its current fleet of five Dash 8 300s and to add new frequencies linking Trinidad and Tobago with surrounding destinations. In addition, several of the new ATRs will be operated in the route network of Air Jamaica, recently acquired by Caribbean Airlines.
Today ATR has more than 160 aircraft in operation and on order with nearly 30 airlines in the Caribbean and Latin America.
“The acquisition of the ATR 72-600s will allow Caribbean Airlines to continue to develop and improve the offering to our customers. The low operating costs and fuel consumption of the aircraft are particularly appealing and provide us with tremendous flexibility in adding frequencies and developing new markets in the regional sectors,” says Captain Ian Brunton, chief executive officer of Caribbean Airlines.
Noting “the suitability of the ATR aircraft for the operating environment of the Caribbean and for the short-haul sectors in the region,” Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR, adds: “The Caribbean and Latin American area has been an important market for ATR and we see strong potential for further increase in the regional fleets and networks. We also see this agreement with Caribbean Airlines as an important step with great potential for further cooperation to expand our MRO and training resources in the region.”
Caribbean Airlines began operations on January 1, 2007 and currently serves 13 markets in the Caribbean, South America and North America, operating a core schedule of 530 weekly departures with a fleet of 13 aircraft.
The airline recently acquired Air Jamaica and has embarked on realizing its vision of “one Caribbean airline”, providing world-class service within the Caribbean region and beyond. The Air Jamaica operation of Caribbean Airlines presently serves four destinations in the USA and Canada, as well as Grenada and the Bahamas, with a fleet of six aircraft.
The Trinidadian carrier reported a 91 per cent system-wide on-time performance for 2009. For more information on Caribbean Airlines, log on to www.caribbean-airlines.com.
Formed in 1981, ATR has grown to become the world’s biggest manufacturer of 50-to-74-seat regional turboprop aircraft. ATR is a joint venture and equal partnership between major European aerospace companies Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica company) and EADS. Its headquarters are in Toulouse, southern France and in 2009 the company generated record turnover of $1.4 billion (€1.1 billion).
ATR has sold more than 1,000 ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft, which are flown by more than 160 operators in 90 countries. The ATR fleet has accumulated a total of around 18 million flights. ATR is certified to ISO 14001, the worldwide standard for environmental management and sustainability.