AviancaTaca Picks ATRs

 - January 5, 2013, 4:10 AM

Latin American airline group AviancaTaca signed a firm purchase order for 15 ATR 72-600s last month and reserved options on another 15 of the new turboprops. Potentially worth $700 million, the contract calls for deliveries to start in June.

Formed by the merger of Colombia’s Avianca and El Salvador’s Taca in 2010, AviancaTaca plans to use the new ATRs to replace its Fokker 50s and aging ATR 42s now in operation with both airlines. Avianca expects to fly the ATR 72-600s to Colombian destinations including Barrancabermeja, Florencia, Manizales, Neiva, Pasto, Popayán, Tumaco and Yopal. Plans for Taca call for services to San Salvador and Managua, Guatemala City and Flores, Guatemala; the Honduran cities of Tegucigalpa, Roatán and San Pedro Sula; and San José and Liberia in Costa Rica.

Some 150 ATR turboprops now fly in Latin American liveries, while another 50 await delivery to the region.