Toulouse, France-based regional turboprop manufacturer ATR is pressing ahead with plans to increase its production rate progressively over the next three years while preparing to add a larger, 90-seat model to its product line, which now consists of the 50-seat ATR 42-600 and 74-seat ATR 72-600.
The Dubai Air Show last week brought a welcome breakthrough for Bombardier’s efforts to build a sound base of sales for its new C Series airliner. Turkey’s Atlasjet signed a letter of intent (LOI) for 15 of the CS300 version. According to Chet Fuller, Bombardier sales vice president, the agreement could be firmed up by year-end.
For ATR, 2011 is already a record year for sales of its regional airliners, but the European manufacturer could have more business to announce soon.
ATR collected orders for a total of 19 new ATR 72-600s from two customers last month, one of which also announced plans to lease another nine of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M-powered turboprops.
ATR celebrated its second major order in as many days today, as EVA Air subsidiary UNI Air signed a contract with the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer to buy 10 ATR 72-600s during a ceremony at its home base in Taiwan. ATR plans to start delivering the airplanes during the third quarter of 2012.
ATR has gained EASA certification for its new ATR 72-600 following nearly two years of flight testing, the Franco-Italian manufacturer announced on May 31. A more powerful and capable version of the 72-500, the new 68-seat turboprop flew more than 150 hours during 75 test flights. The company plans to deliver the first production airplane to Royal Air Maroc early this summer, likely during a ceremony at the Paris Air Show.
The first ATR 72-500 ever delivered to a Russian airline now operates with UTair, the Siberian aviation company that recently placed an order for 20 of the type for its regional airline based in Khanty Mansiysk. Officially closed in late April and valued at $426 million at list prices, the contract calls for delivery of the new 70-seat turboprops through the end of next year.
ATR has revealed another of its previously undisclosed customers–Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC). Yesterday at the Paris Air Show the Danish lessor and aircraft trading company placed a firm order, valued at $450 million, for 10 ATR 72-600s, with 10 options for more.
ATR announced its first order from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) yesterday at the Paris Air Show, giving another boost to the Franco-Italian manufacturer’s newly certificated ATR 72-600 turboprop.
The first raw materials for Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new regional turboprop demonstrator have begun to arrive at the company’s Longueuil plant in Quebec as technicians prepare to assemble the compression system for the NGRT (next-generation regional turboprop).