Banner Year Continues for ATR

 - October 10, 2006, 6:16 AM

Avions de Transport Regional landed firm orders for 20 new airplanes from four customers at last month’s Paris Air Show. Finnish regional airline Finncomm signed for eight 48-seat ATR 42-500s, Corsica’s CCM for six ATR 72-500s, New Caledonia’s Air Caledonie for a still undefined mix of three ATR 42-500s and ATR 72-500s, and Air Madagascar for two ATR 72-500s and a single ATR 42-500.

Over the next two years Finncomm plans to replace a fleet of Saab 340s and 2000s it now flies under the certificate of Sweden’s Golden Air with the eight new ATRs, the first of which it expects to arrive late this year. CCM’s schedule also calls for first delivery late this year, followed by the last five through mid-2007. Air Caledonie plans to replace its three ATR-300s with the new -500s, which will include at least one 68-seat ATR 72, starting next year. Air Madagascar too will replace a trio of older ATR 42s with -500s from late this year through the middle of next year.

Valued at close to $300 million, the contracts raise this year’s order count for ATR to 50 airplanes and increase the company’s backlog to more than 70. In February ATR sold 30 ATR 72s to India’s Air Deccan, one of which sat on static display in Paris.