The effort by UK low-fare regional airline Flybe and flagcarrier Finnair to break through European structural barriers to consolidation took shape last week with an agreement to jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy. The companies plan to create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic, 60-percent owned by Flybe and 40 percent by Finnair.
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.
Paris Air Show organizers promised a feel-good factor from this year’s event, staged at Le Bourget Airport from June 20 to 26, and clearly they were in the know as to the deluge of new business coming their way. Airline bosses pitched up in the French capital with seemingly open checkbooks to order well over $100 billion worth of new aircraft and engines.
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 revealed yesterday that Brazilian carrier Azul Lanhas Aéreas had signed up for another 10 ATR 72-600s, and that the European turboprop manufacturer, in a gradual “strip tease” of show orders, will have announced customers for a total of 78 additional aircraft–worth $2.4 billion at list prices–by the time the trade days are over. ATR chief executive Fillipo Bagnato indicated that he liked the strip-tease approach.
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).
Here at the Paris Air Show, ATR is showcasing its newly certified ATR 72-600 in the livery of Royal Air Maroc. Meanwhile, the European airframer’s final assembly line in Toulouse is to ramp up production of the 70-seater by 40 percent–in part driven by expectations of significant new orders to be placed at Le Bourget this week. Plans for a 90-seater could be firmed up next year.
ATR has gained EASA certification for its new ATR 72-600 following nearly two years of flight testing, the Franco-Italian manufacturer announced this morning. 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 next month’s Paris Air Show.