Taiwan-based UNI Air, a subsidiary of EVA Air, has signed a contract with European regional turboprop manufacturer ATR to order 10 ATR 72-600s.
Deliveries of UNI Air’s ATR 72-600s are scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2012. The contract was formalized with a ceremony in Taiwan on September 9.
UNI Air will use its new ATR 72-600s to replace eight Bombardier Dash 8-300s now in its fleet and for service and route growth.
The regional carrier’s new ATRs will feature the ‘Armonia’ cabin especially created for ATR by Italy ’s Giugiaro Design and equipped with lighter-weight slim-line seats and larger overhead bins to will accommodate a maximum number of carry-on bags.
“We are pleased to update our regional fleet with the most modern aircraft on the market,” says UNI Air Chairman Tony Su. “The new ATR -600 series will enable us to give our passengers the highest standards of comfort and, at the same time, optimize our fuel and operating costs. We are looking forward to introducing our new ATR aircraft and operating them in Asia.”
“This contract confirms the attractiveness of our aircraft in the rapidly growing Asian region. In the last several years, Asia and the Pacific region have represented some 50% of our total order intakes,” says ATR Chief Executive Officer Filippo Bagnato.”
Today, 50 Asia-Pacific operators are flying 250 ATR aircraft. ATR’s delivery schedule currently includes approximately 100 aircraft on order for Asia-Pacific carriers.
UNI Air is the largest domestic airline in Taiwan, where it serves 11 destinations with 15 routes. The carrier also flies between Taiwan and Vietnam and serves nine destinations in the booming China market with 16 routes, in addition to its services to other international gateways in the region. UNI Air operates a fleet that includes 11 Boeing MD-90 jets and eight Bombardier Dash 8-300 turboprops.
The airline passed the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) operational safety check with flying colors in April 2006 and was awarded the IOSA certificate in October of the same year.
UNI Air is an EVA Air subsidiary and is part of the Evergreen Group. Together, the two carriers operate a network linking 17 destinations in China and have plans to introduce flights to eight more cities within the near future. With these added gateways, UNI Air and EVA Air together will be flying to 25 destinations in China and operating 39 routes.