A strong Paris Air Show 2015 for turboprop regional-airliner manufacturer ATR has continued on June 16, with ATR announcing orders and other commitments from three customers for another 42 aircraft.
Philippines-based low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air has ordered 16 ATR 72-600s and has optioned 10 more.
At current list prices, ATR values the order at US$673 million if Cebu Pacific Air exercises all its options.
The order is part of Cebu Pacific’s fleet renewal program, according to ATR. Cebu Pacific currently operates a eight ATR 72-500s, which will be retired as the new aircraft enter service.
However, Cebu Pacific Air is doubling its turboprop fleet overall with its firm ATR 72-600 purchase, in order to meet growing demand in the Philippines for inter-island service.
Cebu Pacific will be the first airline to operate ATR’s new high-density Armonia cabin, which ATR says is the widest cabin in the turboprop market.
Each of Cebu Pacific’s ATR 72-600s will be equipped with 78 slim-line seats and wider overhead bins offering 30 per cent more stowage space.
About 330 ATR turboprops – including more than 100 ATR 72-600s – are now operated by 55 airlines in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cebu Pacific will “be able to benefit from the vast support network for ATR operators in Asia,” says Patrick de Castelbajac, chief executive officer of ATR. “When their first ATR 72-600 arrives, there will be five ATR pilot training centers in the region.”
According to ATR, Cebu Pacific Air is the largest carrier in the Philippines domestic airline sector, operating low-cost services to more destinations and routes, with higher flight frequencies within the Philippines than any other airline.
Cebu Pacific currently operates a fleet of 55 aircraft: 10 Airbus A319s, 31 Airbus A320s, six Airbus A330-300s and eight ATR 72-500s. Between 2015 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of seven more new Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft.
ATR’s second sizable June 16 deal comes from Stockholm-based Braathens Aviation, which has ordered five ATR 72-600s and optioned 10 more as part of the company’s fleet upgrade strategy.
Deliveries to Braathens Aviation will begin at the end of 2015 and the carrier will operate its 72-seat ATR 72-600s on its Braathens Regional services in Sweden.
They will join an existing fleet of five ATR 72-500s operated by Braathens Regional from its base at Stockholm’s near-downtown Bromma Airport.
According to ATR, the new ATR 72-600s will enable Braathens Aviation to replace aging Saab 2000 turboprops, while the overall size of its ATR fleet will also grow.
More than 260 ATR turboprops are in service in the liveries of more than 60 European operators, making Europe ATR’s second largest market. Since the beginning of production, ATR orders in the region account for nearly 30 per cent of all ATR turboprop sales.
ATR’s third June 16 customer is Air New Zealand, which in addition to taking delivery of the seventh of 13 previously ordered ATR 72-600s at the Paris Air Show, has now ordered another.
Since 2011, Air New Zealand has purchased a total of 14 ATR 72-600s, with deliveries of its new ATRs continuing until 2017.
Once all is ATR 72-600s are delivered, Air New Zealand will have 25 ATR regional airliners in its fleet, 11 ATR 72-500s and 14 ATR 72-600s.
The new aircraft will enter service in July across Air New Zealand’s regional domestic network.