ATR Maintains Heading in Turbulent Environment
Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR logged record revenues of $1.4 billion and delivered 54 airplanes last year, the company announced during its annual press conference in Paris last month. The performance marked the second straight year the company delivered more than 50 airplanes. ATR registered firm orders for 40 new aircraft and options on another 17 last year, compared with 42 and 14, respectively, in 2008. During the year, the company sold the 1,000th airplane in the history of the program.
“Reaching a new annual turnover record in 2009 is the result of the commitment and the strong efforts done to cope with the current adverse global environment,” said ATR CEO Stéphane Mayer. “The consolidation of our delivery rate over 50 aircraft a year, which is a historical level for ATR, underlines the ability of our product to keep on interesting both customers and investors…2010 will be another difficult year, but despite today’s environment, we focus on stabilizing the good results of 2009, in terms of orders, deliveries and turnover.”
The company also expanded its support network last year, as it opened a new logistic support center in Kuala Lumpur and inked five additional global maintenance agreements. Meanwhile, it achieved first flight of the new 600-series turboprop, scheduled for service entry next year.
Half of the orders booked last year were for the -600 series, specifically two ATR 42-600s and 18 ATR 72-600s. Of its firm orders for 40 airplanes, 80 percent came from Europe and Asia, which each accounted for 16 aircraft.
ATR finished the year with an order backlog of 136 aircraft, including 59 of the new -600 series. The backlog represents more than two years of production.
ATR said it again plans to deliver more than 50 airplanes this year, “while waiting to get a better overview on the recovery of the economy in order to continue its delivery ramp up.” The company also expects to match last year’s turnover of $1.4 billion.
ATR estimates that the 72-600 development program will require a total of 150 flight-test hours to reach certification. The company expects this year to start a 75-hour flight-test campaign for the ATR 42-600, which, it said, “will benefit from certain tests completed by the ATR 72-600.” Assembly of the first production ATR ‘-600s’ will also start this year, it added.