Regional turboprop manufacturer ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again last year, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has not convinced shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new aircraft.
ATR and lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) have closed a $241 million deal here at the Dubai Airshow for five ATR 72-600 regional turboprops, plus five options. ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato and Gecas president and CEO Norman Liu signed the contract here on Sunday. “These aircraft will support the strong growth in regional air transport we anticipate over the coming years,” Liu said. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2015. Previously at the show, ATR (Stand 1424) also announced an order from Saudi Arabia’s Alpha Star Aviation Services.
Saudi Arabia’s Alpha Star Aviation Services (Stand 806) has signed a firm order for a single ATR 72-600, marking the first sale of ATR’s latest turboprop series in the Middle East. Alpha Star, which also reserved an option on another of the Pratt & Whitney PW127M-powered turboprops, now operates an ATR 42-600. It expects its first ATR 72 to arrive in September 2014.
A Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 crashed in southern Laos near the Champasak provincial capital of Pakse on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by ATR, the airplane took off from the capital city Vientiane and crashed into the Mekong river. Reports from the official Laos news agency indicate the airplane hit the water some five miles short of its destination, Pakse International Airport.
ATR has reached an agreement to place as many as 35 ATR 72-600s with Garuda Indonesia, the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer announced Tuesday. The deal involves firm orders for 25 airplanes, some of which will come via lease through Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital. The parties expect deliveries to start in November and extend over a period of three years.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted ATR 120-minute Etops certification of its new -600 series turboprops last month. This Etops (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) certification means that the ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 versions can now fly as far as 120 minutes (on one engine) from any airport at which they can land.
Leasing firm HGI yesterday placed a firm order for 10 ATR 72-600s for delivery to Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas. The value of the deal, including options on another 10 airplanes, amounts to $482 million. HGI Capital Group also becomes a shareholder of Passaredo, following the approval of ANAC, Brazil’s National Agency for Civil Aviation.
At a ceremony held yesterday at the Paris Air Show, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) chairman Martin Møller signed an order for 90 ATR turboprops, including 35 firm (30 ATR 72-600s and five ATR 42-600s), valued at more than $2.1 billion. The first ATR will be delivered to NAC in the fall. ATR is here at chalet B345 and has an aircraft at Static E.
Hailing an exceptional last two years that have accounted for fully 20 percent of all the 1,250 ATR twin turboprop airliners sold to date, ATR North America sales and marketing vice president Mark Neely pointed out how evenly distributed the European airframer’s customers are geographically.
Despite the difficulty ATR has encountered in penetrating the U.S. turboprop market, company CEO Filippo Bagnato continues to express optimism that the Franco-Italian partnership will experience a resurgence in what perhaps represents its final frontier of a sort. Now controlling some 60 percent of the market for 50- to 90-seat airplanes based on unit sales backlogs, the last Western maker of 50-seat-category turboprops sees itself as a potential lifeline for small U.S. cities and communities that can no longer support the services of regional jets of any size.