Anyone doubting the staying power of turboprop aircraft in the regional airline sector probably should have visited Toulouse on May 3 to see ATR delivering the 1,000th example of its twin turboprop series.
Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR logged record revenues of $1.4 billion and delivered 54 airplanes last year, the company announced during its annual press conference in Paris last month. The performance marked the second straight year the company delivered more than 50 airplanes. ATR registered firm orders for 40 new aircraft and options on another 17 last year, compared with 42 and 14, respectively, in 2008.
In one of his first appearances as new chief executive of ATR, a somewhat hesitant Stéphane Mayer announced new orders from Berjana Airlines of Malaysia (for four ATR 72-500s) and from Total Linhas Aereas of Brazil for three ATR 42-500s, two 72-500s and five options.