Regional turboprop manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional intends to deliver 50 aircraft this year, a number that is only slightly below that produced in 2008. At a press conference here yesterday, CEO Stéphane Mayer also said the company has received 28 firm orders but has suffered nine cancellations since the beginning of this year.
“Our target is to have steady deliveries in 2009,” Mayer stated. Eighteen ATRs have been handed over so far this year. The revenue target is $1.4 billion, he said.
In terms of orders, customers for 14 aircraft have been named: Royal Air Maroc, Afrijet Airlines and the Italian Navy. The other half of this year’s orders are for undisclosed customers. Breaking down the orders by aircraft model, there are two ATR 42-500s, two ATR 42-600s, six ATR 72-500s and 18 ATR 72-600s.
All this results in a backlog of 170 aircraft–“three years of production,” Mayer asserted. This is slightly below last year’s count of 181 as of June 30. The new -600 variants alone account for 59 of these 170 aircraft. For the 2009-2028 period, ATR is forecasting a market of 2,700 turboprops worth $28 billion.
The ATR 72-600 is to make its first flight “this summer.” Certification is pegged for 2010. Deliveries are then slated to begin in 2011.
The ATR 42-600 is to go “power-on” (switching on onboard electric systems) in December. Given the usual timetable for such developments, this should translate into the first flight slipping into 2010.
The -600 series feature Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M for better hot-and-high capabilities. These include improved runway performance and increased payload. Thales is modernizing the flight deck with five six- by eight-inch LCD displays.
In the cabin, passengers will enjoy 30-percent larger overhead bins. Seats are said to be more comfortable and lighter. Moreover, an optional first-class area, with a three-abreast layout, will be available. Such cabins can be retrofitted into the -500 series.
To boost its maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, ATR also is launching a new recommended-provider scheme to create a support network of 15 to 20 facilities worldwide. ATR is selecting “recommended” MRO providers to create a network and the first ones will be announced in September, Mayer promised.
The network will start with recommended MRO centers in those areas where the offer is “less sophisticated.” ATR will help MRO providers offer enhanced services.
For the future, ATR is still working on a 95-seat aircraft as a third member of the family. “We are working with the customers and our engine supplier,” Mayer said. There is no plan for any formal launch yet, however.