(Baku, August 24, 2007) -- Baku-based National Air Company Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), flag carrier of Azerbaijan, today took delivery of its first ATR 42-500. The aircraft is the first to be delivered following the signature, last January, of a $ 100 million-valued contract for the acquisition of 6 new ATR aircraft (2 ATR 42-500s and 4 ATR 72-500s).
Today's delivered aircraft is the first ATR to be operated by the carrier, which later this year will take delivery of its first ATR 72-500. The airline will complete next year its fleet of new generation ATRs.
Jahangir Askerov, General Director of AZAL, declared: "I am pleased to take delivery of our first new generation ATR, the most modern and efficient aircraft of the regional market. AZAL is starting a new era of network expansion with reliable aircraft that have the lowest operating costs and CO2 emissions. In addition, with our new ATRs we will offer the highest standards of comfort to our passengers both in our current and new routes".
Stephane Mayer, ATR CEO, stated: "The introduction of the new ATR fleet of AZAL represents a very important step in order to consolidate the expansion of our "-500 series" aircraft across the regional routes in Eastern Europe. This is a very big market with high commercial perspectives for us". He added: "Our current and future commercial success in the region is related to our ability to offer the highest standards of performance and comfort to the airlines aiming to upgrade and renew their fleets".