LONDON — Regional turboprop manufacturer ATR has had quite a busy Friday 13 for aircraft orders.
Five deals were announced by the manufacturer for a grand total of nine aircraft in total. They are as follows:
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Three for the State of Guernsey…
Guernsey-based carrier Aurigny signed a Letter of Intent with ATR for three 72-600’s, which is still subject to the approval of the States of Guernsey.
These aircraft are expected to replace the current ATR72’s in their fleet already.
The new -600’s will use the manufacturer’s ClearVision Enhanced Vision System (EVS), which uses an external camera to produce an augmented outside-view in real-time to a head-mounted visor, worn by the pilot.
It will improve the pilot’s vision against the likes of fog.
Aurigny Chief Executive Officer, Mark Darby, said:
“Once we have the approval from the States of Guernsey to proceed, the entry into service of the new aircraft equipped with the new ClearVision™ system will reduce flight disruptions, which will be very good news for the people of Guernsey, who rely on air travel for essential connectivity.”
“Beyond beating the fog, upgrading to the -600 series will also further enhance the operational efficiency of Aurigny.”
“We are also excited about welcoming our passengers into the modern ATR cabin and offering them even more comfort when they fly.”
ATR Chief Executive, Christian Scherer, remarked:
“Aurigny’s pioneering use of ClearVision™ will be a first in commercial aviation, here in Europe.”
“Being the first to offer such a solution to our clients and operators demonstrates ATR’s constant desire to match their needs.”
“In the regional aviation market, many airlines fly in challenging locations and ClearVision™ offers an opportunity to give pilots increased visibility and improved situational awareness without requiring expensive upgrades to an airport’s infrastructure – which in many occasions may even be completely unfeasible.”
Two in Africa…
Another order in the day was for Air Botswana who signed a firm order for two ATR 72-600s.
Air Botswana has operated the -500 since 1996 and will replace those aircraft with the newer -600 aircraft also, having their relationship spanning over 20 years.
Air Botswana will benefit from a 40% fuel burn advantage against its turboprop competitor.
It is also a proven route opener, having opened 150 routes in 2017 thanks to the -600.
The aircraft will have 70 seats in a dual-class cabin and deliveries are set to begin in 4Q19.
Agnes Tsholofelo Khunwana, CEO of Air Botswana, said:
“ATR is very reliable and has served us very well for over 20 years.”
“The aircraft is very efficient and generally have favorable economics.”
“Acquiring the new generation ATR 72-600 in a dual class configuration would be our most customer-centric development this year which I am confident, would greatly be embraced by our market.”
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Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR commented:
“Air Botswana’s decision to upgrade their fleet with two ATR 72-600s makes perfect sense in the context of the African market.”
“There are currently around 400 regional passenger aircraft flying in Africa. Many of them will soon need to be replaced to ensure the continuation of regional connectivity.”
“Operators with the ATR-600 series, like Air Botswana, will stand in a class of their own, both economically and in terms of passenger comfort.”
One for Saint-Pierre…
Canadian carrier Air Saint-Pierre (ASP) joined the order sheet for today’s quintuple signing a Memorandum of Understanding for one ATR42-600 aircraft.
The ATR that ASP currently had provides the island with essential connectivity, flying to several locations in Canada.
The aircraft will also cope well with the windy environments outside of the airports ASP operates to.
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ASP has had the -500 since 2009 and the -300 since 1994, so this relationship spans over twenty years also between the two sides.
The -600 will be able to take-off and land in conditions of 45 knots, which is essential to operating in the challenging conditions of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
Air Saint-Pierre Chief Executive Officer Benoit Olano said:
“It makes perfect sense for us to continue our partnership with ATR by acquiring the latest generation -600 series aircraft.”
“Every operator is looking for the most efficient aircraft on the market to maximize their operations, however, with a small fleet, it is vital that we invest in an aircraft that really delivers on every single criterion that we require.”
“The ATR does this, and will provide the people of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon with the continuing connectivity they need.”
Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, commented:
“Air Saint Pierre realized the operational advantages of turboprops many years ago, and it is very rewarding that they continue to put their trust in the ATR product.”
“This demonstrates again the versatility of our aircraft, often serving destinations with challenging weather conditions, all over the world, whilst allowing airlines to take advantages of its unbeatable economics and comfort.”
DrukAir Signs for One…
DrukAir also joined in with the fun by signing for one ATR 42-600 with the ClearVision system that Aurigny will be using also.
The airline will be the first operator to benefit from the advantages of EVS and Combined Vision System (CVS) which generates images of terrain and obstacles using an extensive database.
The aircraft is expected to be delivered in July 2019. Drukair has been using the ATR 42’s since 2011, serving small airports in the Himalayan Mountains.
Tandi Wangchuk, Chief Executive Officer of Drukair, said:
“Purchasing another ATR was a natural decision.”
“The improvements delivered by the -600 series’ new Standard 3 avionics, along with the ClearVision™ CVS system add significant operational and thus economic value.”
“We also look forward to welcoming passengers into the most modern cabin in regional aviation and offering them the most comfortable in-flight experience possible.”
ATR Chief Executive Officer, Christian Scherer, remarked:
“Drukair’s decision to purchase the latest version of our product not only validates the versatility and operational efficiency of our -600 series aircraft but also affirms the value of our policy of continuous development.”
“Offering valuable solutions which have a genuine and immediate impact on our customer’s business will always be a priority for us at ATR.”
“We look forward to contributing to the famous “Gross National Happiness” of the people of Bhutan, long into the future.”
READ MORE: Spain’s Binter Orders 6 ATR 72-600s
EWA Air Finalises The Day with Two…
We conclude with Mayotte-based carrier EWA signing a Memorandum of Understanding for two ATR 72-600s.
This order represents an upgrade from their two currently leased ATR 72-500s.
The airline, which is a subsidiary of Air Austral, has been an ATR operator throughout its entire lifespan of five years since its launch in 2013 and uses the ATR props to connect Mayotte with the likes of Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Deliveries of the aircraft are to begin before the end of this year, with the aircraft being equipped with 64 seats.
Commenting on the deal, EWA Air Chairman, Marie Joseph Male, said:
“The acquisition of these aircraft represent an important step for us, as we will be introducing the most modern and suitable regional aircraft for inter-island operations.”
“The -600 series aircraft will continue to deliver the operational efficiency and reliability that has been so vital to us as a new operator, whilst enhancing the levels of comfort that we are able to offer our passengers.”
Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, remarked:
“It is most rewarding when an operator comes back to us and signs for more of our aircraft.”
“Beyond the vote of confidence, it is the testimony to the level of customer service that we provide.”
“The versatility of the ATR is well proven and markets around the world rely on the connectivity that our aircraft provide.”
“The ability of the ATR to operate on short runways is unmatched by any other turboprop or regional jet and ATRs are the perfect aircraft for linking small communities in this part of the Indian Ocean.”
Was Friday 13th Supposed to Be Unlucky?
Overall, ATR has been very lucky on what is traditionally supposed to be a very unlucky day.
By signing these orders, they are hopefully preparing themselves for a wave of announcements to be stated at the Farnborough Air Show next week.
It will be interesting to see whether ATR does indeed have any more customers lined up for orders or whether it will be a relatively quiet airshow given the dump of orders they have announced over the space of today.
Make sure to tune in to Airways over the next couple of days for all of the news regarding FIA18!