Avions de Transport Regional yesterday landed the first pair of three orders it plans to announce this week at the show, when Finnish regional airline Finncomm signed for eight 48-seat ATR 42-500s and New Caledonia’s Air Caledonie inked a deal for a still undefined mix of three ATR 42-500s and ATR 72-500s.
Valued at some $250 million, the purchase contract with Finncomm included options for another eight airplanes. The Finnish regional airline plans to replace a fleet of Saab 340s and 2000s it now flies under the certificate of Sweden’s Golden Air. The new airplanes will feed partner Finnair’s Helsinki hub and fly within Finncomm’s own regional network. Finncomm also flies an Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet from Helsinki to Stuttgart and Kemi.
ATR plans to start delivering the airplanes from late this year through 2007. The airplanes on option would arrive over the two subsequent years. The Toulouse-based airframe builder will equip the airplanes with its Elegance cabin.
Air Caledonie plans to take its first two airplanes next year and the final one in 2007. It now flies three ATR 42-300s and a single Dornier 228 among the widely scattered islands of New Caledonia. The airline plans to replace its existing ATRs with the new -500s, which will include at least one ATR 72.
ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato said the orders announced here will raise this year’s order count to 50 new turboprops. In January, the company sold 30 ATR 72s to India’s Air Deccan, with one here.