Singapore. When Air India announced it would dry lease eight 72-seater ATR aircraft for its regional subsidiary Alliance Air which plans to replace its ageing fleet, recently it dawned that currently, Alliance Air has seven ATR-42 in its fleet which it would be replacing with ATR 72-600/500. Air India with its aim to connect the so-called tier-II and tier-III cities with small planes makes ATR a prominent contender for this market. “ATR is the only manufacturer which offers a family of aircraft. It has twenty five 50-70 seater aircraft in India and 275 in Asia-Pacific. ATR is eager to further contribute to country’s local and regional development. In the region the ATR tally is Nepal-6, Bhutan-1, Bangladesh-3, Pakistan-6 and Maldives-4,” informed Guillaume Huertas, Sales Director, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and all SAARC.
“ATR has a customer support centre in Bangalore keeping in mind the major potential for regional aviation in India. Tier2 and Tier 3 cities are in focus for creating connectivity and ATR would be just the right choice. ATR is penetrating in South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent for the lessor’s market. There are 190 lessor operators worldwide for ATR. There has been an increase from 0 to 33 per cent in leasing firms from 2010 to end of 2013 and an increase in 1/3rd sale to leasing firms. 90 per cent of the sales in the period for regional aircraft to lessors are ATRs. Large customs operators support in many parts of the world. Some of the lessors are getting into India,” he added.
As of December 31, 2013, ATR has a backlog of 221 aircraft. The value of these aircraft is estimated at $5.3 billion. This backlog represents nearly three years of production and allows ATR to continue to increase its planned delivery rate for the forthcoming years. The aircraft design is inspired from a high-wing, twin turboprop aircraft optimised right from the start for efficiency, operating flexibility and passenger comfort: the ATR 42 and ATR 72.Twenty three years on, ATR has become the benchmark for regional turboprop aircraft with sales exceeding 1,200 aircraft, with over 180 operators in more than 90 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours.
“It may be recalled that ATR has last year signed a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA), valued at some $48 million with Jet Airways, including its subsidiary Jet Konnect, which currently operates a fleet of 72-500 and 72-600 aircraft. This new GMA extends the agreement for the following seven years and covers the supply of spare parts and maintenance services for the fleet of ATRs of the airline. The Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) represents the extensive and flexible maintenance services package ATR offers to the Operators in order to assist them during aircraft operations and reduce maintenance costs. As an aircraft manufacturer ATR has built a unique expertise offering the Customer the most cost efficient solutions to outsource their “on” and “off” aircraft maintenance requirements,” Huertas reiterated.
Jet Airways, including its subsidiary Jet Konnect, currently operates a fleet of 16 ATR 72- 500 and 1 ATR 72-600 aircraft, and will introduce an additional 4 new ATR 72-600 aircraft into its fleet. The airline has been operating ATR aircraft since 1999 and has covered its fleet with GMAs since the beginning of its partnership with ATR. Jet Airways has become the first operator in India of the new ATR -600 series aircraft.
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