ATR boss predicts record year

 - November 11, 2007, 7:04 PM

Standing at 88 orders so far this year, regional turboprop manufacturer ATR’s order book may well break the previous record of 90 in 2005, a confident Stéphane Mayer, the company’s CEO, said here yesterday during a press conference.

The latest order came on November 8, from Malaysian-based MASwings for 10 ATR 72-500s. The Alenia-EADS joint venture is now readying itself and its supply chain for a steep production ramp-up. From 44 deliveries in 2007, it will rise to 64 next year and 80 in 2009. That is supported by a backlog of 184 aircraft, 80 percent of which are 70-seaters.

Salespeople’s focus has now turned to the new ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600. According to commercial senior v-p Jacques Desbarats, “two or three” formal proposals are under discussion. ATR announced the launch of the -600 series earlier this year in an effort to re-stimulate a largely idle North American market.