MIAMI — Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific took delivery of the first ATR 72-600 High Capacity, a new option that has ten additional seats when compared to the 68-seat current standard configuration.

Based on the existing cabin platform, ATR added an additional row of four seats by reducing pitch and replacing the galley compartment with a new aft foldable galley. The option allows airlines to choose between full cargo capacity or a combination of cargo capacity and galley space.

The ARMONIA Cabin interior offers lighter, ergonomic seats and restyled overhead bins. (Credits: ATR)
The ARMONIA Cabin interior offers lighter, ergonomic seats and restyled overhead bins. (Credits: ATR)

ATR also offers this 78-seat option as a retrofit.

Back in the 2015 Paris Air Show, Cebu Pacific placed an order for 16 ATR 72-600s plus 10 options, intended to replace its current fleet of eight ATR 72-500s, which near eight years of service. The deliveries of these aircraft will run throughout 2020.

“We are honored to be able to provide the most modern standards of comfort and even more competitive fares to our guests. Overall our new fleet will help us expand our inter-island network, strengthen links between local communities and encourage more business and tourism opportunities, thus support the growing Philippine economy,”Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific Air commented in a statement.

In its most recent forecast, ATR predicts that the Asia-Pacific market will lead the world’s turboprop market, with 750 new aircraft over the next two decades. ATR estimates that 630 of these aircraft will be in the 75-seat segment.

According to the airframer, turboprops will play an essential role by linking smaller airports and providing regional access.

“We are convinced that the new high capacity option of the ATR 72-600 will play a significant role in the expansion of regional air connectivity across South-East Asia. This new maximum capacity configuration, using new optimized seats, is providing the best possible answer to the continuous increase of traffic on regional routes in Asia,” said Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.