Turboprop regional-airliner manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional has announced a clutch of orders for its new ATR 72-600 and its existing ATR 72-500 turboprop...

Discussing the Azul deal, the manufacturer says Azul’s new ATR 72-600 fleet will allow the Brazilian airline to broaden the expansion of its domestic regional network by launching service on many regional routes that are ideally suited for the passenger capacity of the ATR 72-600. ATR’s new ‘-600 series’ cabin, which it has branded ‘Armonia’, features new seats which are wider and lighter in weight than the seats installed in previous ATR aircraft, as well as LED lighting and more cabin-storage capacity.

Talking about Azul’s order for 20 ATR 72-600s, David Neeleman, founder and chairman of Azul, says: “This is a great moment for all of us at Azul. Our commitment for this brand new fleet of ATR 72-600 will enable Azul to serve even more cities in the vast Brazilian territory, linking smaller communities with major cities with seamless connectivity between our jets and the new ATRs. That allows Azul to gain even more momentum in its fast-paced growth; our customers to benefit from superior service with affordable airfares; and the Brazilian country as a whole, welcoming in many underserved markets this new generation of environmentally friendly, advanced turboprops.”

Commenting on ALC’s order for 10 ATR 72-600s, Steven Udvar-Házy, chairman and chief executive officer of Air Lease Corporation, says: “We are delighted to order these ATR 72-600s, which will complement our portfolio of narrow- and wide-body aircraft. Air Lease has identified a number of opportunities for these aircraft among our existing and future customers. The ATR 72s will enable us to strengthen our regional offering with an aircraft that is a proven success, featuring unrivalled operating costs and good performance on short routes. The ATR has distinguished itself with a wide base of operators and strong residual values, which make it a good investment for a lessor.”

Speaking on Lao Airlines’ order for two ATR 72-500s, its President Dr Somphone Douangdara says: “Lao Airlines has ordered two more ATR 72-500s because ATRs always prove their worth. We’ve operated ATRs for 16 years and value their unbeatable performance, reliability, efficiency, ease of maintenance, environmental sensitivity and comfort. We know our new ATRs will meet our needs perfectly, give us the lowest seat-mile costs in their class, keep us flying on time and keep our customers satisfied.”

Lao Airlines’ ATR 72-500s are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines, which ATR says provide outstanding short-field performance even at difficult ‘hot and high’ airfields. They are also fitted with ATR’s ‘Elegance’ cabin, which incorporates wide, ergonomic seats, variable LED lighting and plenty of storage space and is designed to provide a welcoming, attractive and comfortable travelling environment.

Commenting on NAC’s latest leased-aircraft-portfolio buy from ATR, Martin Moeller, NAC’s founder and chairman says: “ATR aircraft have been in our portfolio since the start of our development as a regional aircraft lessor.  Stable values, a strong revival of interest in turboprops and strong market penetration is making the ATR a very popular aircraft in the market today.  We are looking forward to expanding our fleet further with the acquisition of additional aircraft and financing further ATR aircraft deliveries.”

Speaking about ATR’s orders in the first half of 2010, Filippo Bagnato, ATR’s chief executive officer, says: “While consolidating our presence worldwide by getting the renewal of confidence from our existing customers, we are continuing to expand our client portfolio with new operators. Our wide array of operators are seeing the benefits from the superior performance and low operating costs of our aircraft and the advantages of our strong support network around the world. Today, we have already 155 operators in more than 80 countries.”

ATR delivered 26 new aircraft in the first half of the year and its order backlog at June 30 was 152 aircraft, which represents more than two years of production.

“Both positive results in terms of orders and deliveries underline the good health of ATR,” says Bagnato.

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