Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has quietly launched an executive version of its ATR 42 and 72 regional airliners. In fact, there are already seven corporate or VIP ATR operators.
The crash of Colgan Air/Continental Connection Flight 3407 (a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400) on February 2 has again raised the same issues about in-flight icing that came to light after the 1994 icing-related crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 in Roselawn, Ind., and other icing accidents.
Guernsey, UK-based regional carrier Aurigny Air Services last month took delivery of its first new ATR 72-500 in accordance with a firm contract it signed for a pair of the Franco-Italian turboprops in the summer of 2007. Configured with 72 seats and equipped with ATR’s “Elegance” cabin, the pair of new ATRs will replace two of Aurigny’s three aging ATR 72-200s.
Moroccan flag carrier Royal Air Maroc signed a firm order with ATR for six of the Franco-Italian manufacturer’s 600 Series turboprops now under development, the companies announced today. The order, which calls for delivery of a pair of 48-seat ATR 42-600s and four 70-seat ATR 72-600s, includes an option for a further two ATR 72-600s.
A court in Palermo, Sicily, has sentenced Capt. Shafik Al Gharbi and copilot Ali Kebaier Lassoued to 10 years in prison for failing to take adequate emergency measures before crash landing their Tuninter ATR 72 turboprop into the sea, leading to the death of 16 people on Aug. 6, 2005. Five other employees of the Tunisian domestic airline and charter company received sentences of between eight and nine years in jail.
The ATR 72-500 was approved to start operations at London City Airport in early February and has entered service with Irish regional airline Aer Arann on its route to the Isle of Man. The UK approval process requires a series of test flights to establish that the aircraft and operator can cope with the downtown airport’s 5.5-deg approach and its 3,900-foot runway, while also meeting strict noise limits.
ATR took in record revenues of $1.3 billion in 2008 and says that despite the financial crisis it will top that figure this year. John Moore, the company’s senior vice president commercial, told AIN that when Toulouse, France-based ATR made predictions at the beginning of last year, the 2009 market conditions were “not expected by anybody.”
Avions de Transport Regional has scheduled the first flight of a prototype ATR 72-600 regional turboprop for early this summer, following completion of the first “power-on” test in December in Toulouse, France. The ATR 42/72 variant that will supersede the -500 features a new flight deck supplied by Thales.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company (XAC) has started preliminary work on the Modern Ark 700 (MA700), a 70-seat turboprop regional aircraft that it expects to fly by 2013 or 2014.
The MA700 would be more energy-efficient than the Chinese turboprop now under development–the 60-seat MA600– and designed for high-altitude operations, said Geng Ruoguang, vice general manager of China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC), parent of XAC.
An ATR 42 cargo airplane operated by Empire Airlines for FedEx ran off the runway early this morning at Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, after arriving on a flight from Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Both crewmembers walked away from the crash but went to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries.