ATR revealed yesterday that Brazilian carrier Azul Lanhas Aéreas had signed up for another 10 ATR 72-600s, and that the European turboprop manufacturer, in a gradual “strip tease” of show orders, will have announced customers for a total of 78 additional aircraft–worth $2.4 billion at list prices–by the time the trade days are over. ATR chief executive Fillipo Bagnato indicated that he liked the strip-tease approach.
ATR will end up with its highest backlog ever, said Bagnato: 223 aircraft worth a total of $5 billion, representing three years of production. It has delivered 929 of 1,152 aircraft ordered, some 40 percent which have been placed since 2005. It intends to reveal two more -600 customers before the show is over.
The Azul order converts 10 of the 20 options the airline already held into firm orders (the carrier had ordered 20 ATR 72-600s, plus the 20 options, at last year’s Farnborough airshow). Gerald Lee, Azul vice president and co-founder, said that the airline has been impressed by the six ATRs it has leased since March. “They have made a real difference,” he said.
Due to its recent success, Bagnato admitted that ATR needs to do “a second ramp up,” having already boosted production rates in 2006 and 2007. “Next year we will have to increase our volume by 35 percent as we move from 53 deliveries in 2011 to 72 in 2012,” he said. “As a consequence, we will jump from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion next year.”
ATR predicts a market for 3,000 turboprop airliners over the next 20 years, said Bagnato. In response to a question about a new 90-seat ATR, he said, “Around a third of that [3,000] could be for a larger turboprop.”
Bagnato also announced that ATR had been accredited to the ISO 14001 environmental standard, which he said proved that, “We are not only a producer of green airplanes, we are producing [them] in a green way.”