Thai airline Bangkok Airways has placed a firm order for six ATR 72-600 tuboprops and taken options on two more.
ATR, which announced the order together with Bangkok Airways at the Singapore Airshow 2014, values the airline’s eight-aircraft commitment at almost US$200 million.
Bangkok Airways has been operating ATR aircraft for two decades and currently operates eight ATR 72-500 turboprops.
Its first new ATR 72-600 will be delivered later this year, allowing Bangkok Airways to start renewing its fleet.
According to ATR, Bangkok Airways has been a forerunner in opening new exclusive gem destinations for its passengers. The manufacturer says the economics and passenger comfort of the ATR aircraft have been key factors in the development of Bangkok Airways as Asia’s “boutique airline”.
Bangkok Airways was formed as Thailand’s first private airline in 1968. Operating about a hundred flights per day from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Airways flies travelers to more than 20 destinations across Thailand and Asia.
Samui, Phuket, Trat (Koh Chang), and the Maldives are amongst its most popular beach selections, while Bangkok Airways destinations Sukhothai, Luang Prabang and Siem Reap (where the Angkor temple complex is located) are all World Heritage sites.
There are currently more than 270 ATR regional airliners in operation in the Asia-Pacific region, flying the colors of 50 airlines.
ATR has taken orders for more than 320 aircraft from airlines in the Asia-Pacific region since 2005, a figure which ATR says accounts for two-thirds of total sales of regional aircraft with less than 90 seats in the region.
“The arrival of these new ATR 72-600 aircraft is the logical continuation of a long-standing partnership that has achieved excellent results over time,” said Capt. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, president of Bangkok Airways. “The ATRs are an integral part of our airline’s identity and of our top-quality services to the most attractive tourist destinations in the country.”
Added Prasarttong-Osoth: “We are looking forward to the arrival of our new ATRs, as they will allow us to offer even more comfortable flying conditions to our customers.”