Turboprops flying In Over 90 Countries For 180 Airlines
ATR marked an important stage in its history Wednesday with the delivery of its 1,000th aircraft, an ATR 72-600 which will be decked out in the colors of the Spanish airline Air Nostrum, which has a commercial agreement with Iberia. This delivery symbolizes the success and sustainability of the ATR program and the ATR 42 and ATR 72 family of aircraft. ATR, which delivered its very first ATR 42 on December 3rd, 1985 to the French airline Air Littoral, today joins the exclusive ranks of aircraft manufacturers having delivered 1,000 planes.
The delivery of this aircraft, which is configured for 72 passengers and powered by two PW127M turboprop engines, took place in Toulouse and was attended by many of the world leaders in aerospace, including the CEOs of the EADS and Finmeccanica groups, Louis Gallois and Giuseppe Orsi respectively.
“Today, ATR planes are present in over 90 countries and are flown by 180 airlines. Few programs can boast such a global presence”, said Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR. “Over the years, ATR aircraft have established themselves as the benchmark in regional aviation on all continents. We are very proud of the resilience that ATR has demonstrated since the launch of the program. The perseverance, the unfailing commitment to our turboprop aircraft and their many benefits for regional airlines are what allow us to celebrate the 1,000th delivery today, and these same qualities will continue to provide us with opportunities in the years to come.”
Since the recovery of the turboprop market in 2005, ATR has recorded almost half of all of its orders and delivered nearly a third of its aircraft. In 2011, a record year for the Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer which posted 157 firm sales, ATR represented over 80% of international sales of regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. “The trend in regional aviation shows an increasingly pronounced predominance of turboprop technology in the 90-seat or less aircraft segment," Bagnado said. "Turboprops and ATR planes in particular, are also the best suited aircraft to meet the increasing environmental requirements of airlines and passengers.” And he concluded: “We would also like to thank all of our customers and ATR operators who, from the launch of the program, have placed their trust in us and who enable us today to look ahead to new, ever more ambitious opportunities.”
ATR aircraft offer some of the lowest fuel consumption rates and operating costs among all regional aircraft, for both jets and turboprops combined. The new -600 series ATR aircraft, like the one delivered today, are equipped with all the latest innovations in terms of passenger comfort, featuring, in particular, the Armonia cabin which was recently recognized at the "Good Design Awards" in Chicago. They are also equipped with a new glass cockpit avionics suite integrating all the latest tools in terms of navigational aids.