At the Paris Airshow on June 20, leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced an order for 15 ATR 72-600s, plus options on 15 more.
Regional-turboprop manufacturer ATR, a joint venture between EADS and Alenia Aeronautica, values the deal at approximately $680 million at list prices, assuming GECAS firms up all its options.
This is a first-time ATR order for GECAS, which is the commercial-aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric. GECAS also announced an order for 60 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft at the Paris Airshow on June 20.
“The ATR 72s have a wide operating base and fills out our fleet offering at GECAS,” says Norman Liu, president and chief executive officer of GECAS. “There is good demand in the emerging markets and a strong replacement need as well.”
“We are proud to associate such a prestigious brand as GECAS to the ATR family. This deal underlines the increasing interest of leasing companies for ATR aircraft, as they eye the success of our aircraft and, particularly, the increasing business opportunities they provide,” remarks Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR.
“ATRs feature [a] low operating-cost profile and high level of reliability and value retention,” adds Bagnato. “In the last three years, the number of ATRs in operation that belongs to leasing companies has doubled.”
The ATR 72-600 will join GECAS’ current portfolio, which includes narrowbody, widebody and regional aircraft. ATR says its new ‘600-series’ will offer airline operators of ATR 42s, ATR 72s and other regional turboprops improvements in performance and passenger comfort.
Among the improvements are ATR’s new ‘Armonia’ cabin developed by Italian designer Giugiaro. The 600-series ATR turboprops also feature technology enhancements such as a new avionics suite, while offering a very high level of commonality with earlier ATR models, according to ATR.
The ATR 72-600 has a passenger capacity of 68 to 74 seats. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines, each generating maximum power of 2,750 shaft horsepower at take-off. The aircraft’s maximum weight at take-off is 23,000 kilograms (50,600lb) and it has a maximum payload of 7,500kg (16,500lb). The ATR 72-600’s maximum range with full passenger load is 899 nautical miles (1,665 kilometers).