ATR announced regional turboprop orders from two South Pacific operators here yesterday. Air Tahiti has bought an ATR 72-500, valued at about $18 million. The 66-seater will operate under ETOPS-120 rules. Air Tahiti CEO Mate Galenon said the airline is now able to serve more islands, such as Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, which the airline could until now reach only with its smaller ATR 42s. Air Tahiti operates nine ATRs and awaits delivery this year and next of another three on order. Yesterday’s order is the third for ATR this year.
ATR CEO Stéphane Mayer also signed a contract yesterday with Peter Fogarty, general manager for domestic operations at Air Vanuatu, for one ATR 72-500. The 70-seat, ETOPS-120 aircraft will help the airline to cope with increasing demand. Air Vanuatu enjoyed a 19-percent traffic increase last year.
ATR accounted for the Air Vanuatu sale in its record 2007 order tally of 113 airplanes. The Toulouse-based company’s revenues reached E1.1 billion ($1.6 billion) last year and its backlog now stands at 196 aircraft.