Russian carrier UTair has signed a contract in Kiev for the purchase of 20 ATR 72-500 regional turboprop airliners, in a deal which manufacturer ATR values at $426 million.
ATR says UTair will use its new ATR 72-500s to respond to the increasing market demand for regional connectivity in Russia and in Ukraine. The airline will add seat capacity on existing routes and will develop new routes in both countries.
UTair already operates a fleet of 17 ATRs: 12 ATR 42-300s and three ATR 72-200s in Russia, and two ATR 42-300s operated by its subsidiary UTair Ukraine. With the delivery of the new 20 ATR 72-500s, UTair will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in Europe, with 37 in its fleet.
Delivery of the new aircraft will bring to more than 50 the number of ATR turboprops operated by Russian, Ukrainian and other CIS countries’ carriers, according to ATR.
“We are pleased to modernize and almost double our ATR fleet with the acquisition of these new ATR 72-500s.The ATR aircraft have proven themselves as the right tool for regional connections in the Russian Federation and Ukraine,” says Andrey Martirosov, UTair’s chief executive officer.
“These aircraft have notably proven their ability to operate reliably and profitably not only in the European environment but in the harsh Siberian conditions,” adds Martirosov. “Providing state-of–the-art comfort and a reliable service to our passengers at affordable fares are key factors of our choice for the ATR 72-500s.”
“We are honored by the confidence placed in our products by UTair, the biggest Russian domestic carrier. The Russian Federation and the CIS countries are providing us strong commercial opportunities as they expand their regional connectivity,” says Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR.
The ATR 72-500 has a assenger capacity of 68 to 74 seats. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M turboprop engines, each delivering 2,475 shaft horsepower of take-off power. The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 50,265 lb (22,800 kg) and a maximum payload of 15,432 lb (7,000 kg). The ATR 42-500’s maximum range at full passenger capacity is 824 nautical miles (948 statute miles, 1,526 kilometers).
UTair is an integrated air transport and aircraft services company with 40 years of experience in the Russian air transport market. According to ATR, UTair is focused on three strategic business segments: passenger transportation, helicopter operations and aviation services, including aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO), personnel training, airport management and catering services.
Today, UTair operates the largest aircraft fleet of any Russian operator and ranks among the top four largest carriers of CIS and Baltic states by passenger volume. UTair is the Russian market leader in helicopter services and is among the world’s four largest helicopter companies.