HGI Aircraft Division, the aircraft-leasing arm of HGI Capital Group, has signed a firm order for up to 20 ATR 72-600 turboprops for operation by Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas.
Announced at the Paris Air Show 2013, the deal includes a firm order for 10 ATR 72-600s and options on 10 more. Assuming HGI Aircraft Division exercises all 10 options, ATR puts a total value of $482 million on the 20-aircraft deal.
The deal appears actually to represent HGI Aircraft Division taking over an identical transaction originally announced by Passaredo itself on May 22, 2012, when it took delivery of the first of four new ATR 72-600 regional airliners leased from Air Lease Corporation.
This inference is supported by the fact that HGI Capital Group has announced it is becoming a shareholder of Passaredo after receiving approval from ANAC, Brazil’s National Agency for Civil Aviation.
The signing of the contract at the Paris Air Show was witnessed by Mrs. Nicole Bricq, France’s Minister for Foreign Trade.
Over the past three years, ATR has received firm orders for more than 60 ATR 72-600 turboprops for operation by Brazilian airlines.
Brazil is currently experiencing significant development in its regional air transport network and the airport infrastructure in its small and medium-sized cities, according to ATR.
Since 2005, ATR has almost quadrupled the number of its aircraft flying in the Brazilian market, where currently almost 80 are operating in the colors of five different airlines. More than 100 ATR regional airliners will be operating in Brazil in 2015, according to the manufacturer.
“We are delighted to initiate our aircraft investments in association with Passaredo and ATR following the authorization of ANAC,” says Juan Alcaraz, chief executive officer of HGI Capital Group. “We are convinced that the development of regional air transport in Brazil offers excellent business prospects for our newly created HGI Aircraft Division.”
Adds Alcaraz: “Our investment in Passaredo will strengthen the airline in a highly competitive sector, allowing them to consolidate their presence and further increase their market share.”
“The ATR 72-600 is clearly the aircraft best suited to meet our operational requirements,” remarks Luiz Felicio, chief executive officer of Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. “The aircraft’s performance on all of our routes of less than 600 kilometers is unbeatable, allowing us to make very significant fuel-savings while offering a high quality service to our passengers.”
HGI Capital Group is an international investment fund based in Barcelona. Founded in 1994, the group is particularly active in tourism and property investments, resort investment and various other leisure-focused areas and has projects in numerous countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Caribbean.
Based in Ribeirão Preto (300 kilometers north of São Paulo), Passaredo Linhas Aéreas began operations in 1995. The airline’s current fleet comprises four leased ATR 72-600s and two leased ATR 72-500s.
Passaredo has an exclusive interline agreement with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, which has 37 per cent of the Brazilian national market. Passaredo currently operates 68 daily flights, connecting 21 destinations across the country, and carried around one million passengers last year.