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Fri, May 19, 2006

ATR Signs Deal With Gov't Of Ecuatorial Guinea For Three Turboprops

Planes To Be Used In National Airline

This week, regional aircraft manufacturer ATR and the Government of Ecuatorial Guinea signed a deal for three new ATR turboprops, one ATR 42-500 (file photo of type, right) and two ATR 72-500s. Valued at $50 million, the agreement is the first contract signed between ATR and the Government of Ecuatorial Guinea, and increases the number of African ATR operators to 21.

The deal was signed at ATR Headquarters in the presence of the President of Ecuatorial Guinea, His Excellence Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and the Minister of Finances and Budget, Marcelino Owono Edu.

The three new aircraft are slated to be delivered over the next three years to Ecuato Guineana de Aviacion (EGA), the country's national airline. According to media sources, the airline currently flies but one plane -- an Antonov An-24RV turboprop -- though it also reportedly has an Embraer 145 in storage.

"We are convinced that ATR represents the best choice to achieve our goal of renewal and expansion of our national airline," said President Mbasogo at the signing. "This deal will contribute to make our national airlines one of the most modern and active in Africa."

ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato said, "This new contract will allow us to consolidate the presence of ATR in Africa and represents also a new step forward of our policy of cooperation with that continent. We are delighted that with this new deal, ATR becomes an important part of the renewal of the fleet and the services of the national airline in Equatorial Guinea".

"2006 is confirming the recovery of the turboprop market and the success of ATR aircraft," added Bagnato. "Since first of January 2005, we received orders for 136 new aircraft, some of which have not yet been announced."

To date, ATR has sold 806 aircraft -- 399 ATR 42s and 407 larger ATR 72s (file photo of type, above). ATR aircraft operate in 17 African countries.

FMI: www.atraircraft.com

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