Indonesia’s Lion Air has signed a firm order for 27 additional ATR 72-600 turboprops for its regional subsidiary Wings Air.
Once the aircraft are delivered, Wings Air will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in the world, with a total fleet of 60 aircraft – 20 ATR 72-500s and 40 ATR 72-600s.
Wings Air introduced its first ATR 72s in January 2010 and currently operates a fleet of 16 ATR 72-500s across its domestic network in Indonesia. The airline plans to take delivery of its 60th ATR 72 by the end of 2015.
The signing of the contract for the 27 additional ATR 72-600s, which ATR values at US$610 million, took place at the Singapore Airshow on February 16.
Since early 2010, Wings Air has used its ATR 72s to create new routes from main and regional airports in Indonesia, adding frequencies on the most popular routes and feeding Lion Air’s Boeing 737-900ER operations at its hubs in Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Medan, Batam, Makasar, Ambon and Menado. Wings Air is also developing and enhancing air services in remote areas of the country.
The remaining 44 ATR 72-500s and ATR 72-600s to be delivered to Wings Air will continue to develop new routes, mainly from the islands of Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. Some of the aircraft will also replace and complement Wings Air’s MD-80s and Lion Air’s Boeing 737s operating from airports on those islands, adding service frequencies into the network.
“Our fleet of ATR 72s is playing a major role in the development and democratization of the aviation services in Indonesia, bringing new travel possibilities, at low rates, to an increasing part of the population,” said Pak Rusdi Kirana, chairman of Wings Air and president of Lion Air.
“With the ATRs, Wings Air is also contributing to develop business opportunities across the country and to develop tourism in regions like Java, Bali and Nusantagara,” added Kirana. “The ATR aircraft are perfectly adapted to the Indonesian short-haul market and allows Wings Air to connect communities, even those located in remote areas.”
“We congratulate Wings Air for becoming the largest ATR operator worldwide, only three years after having signed the first contract,” said Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR. “Wings Air will be introducing the new ATR -600 series aircraft in the region, thus providing its passengers with the most technologically advanced and comfortable cabin among regional aircraft.”
The Asia-Pacific region has represented more than 40 per cent of ATR’s total sales since 2005. Today, there are some 250 ATR aircraft operating for Asia-Pacific carriers, plus 80 more aircraft on backlog.