Malaysia Airlines Acquires 20 ATR 72-500s for Firefly and MASwings
These 20 new aircraft will feature state-of-the-art technological innovations in passenger comfort, communications and navigation tools. Firefly will take delivery of its first ATR aircraft in 2008, while the first ATR for MASwings will be delivered in 2009.
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The ATR 72-500s of Firefly, configured with 72 seats and featuring also the "Elegance Cabin", are intended for the expansion of its network, as the airline establishes its hubs in Kuala Lumpur (Subang), Penang, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu whilst it progressively replaces its current Fokker 50 aircraft.
With its new 68-seat ATR 72-500s, MASwings - the "Wings of Borneo" - will expand its services in the states of Sabah and Sarawak, well-known tourist destinations in East Malaysia.
Commenting on the signing ceremony, Eddy Leong, CEO of Firefly declared: "Selecting the '-500 series' ATR aircraft we have done the right choice to face the growth of our regional operations with brand new aircraft featuring the highest standards of comfort available in the regional aviation sector as well as unrivalled performance in the short-haul routes". He added: "Besides its unbeatable economics, the ATR aircraft are able to land on very short runways, and burn some 50% less of fuel than a regional jet. We are also pleased to operate such an environmental friendly aircraft".
Dr. Amin Khan, Managing Director of MASwings said, "We too have full confidence in the ATR aircraft that will be a strong catalyst to accelerate the growth of our network in East Malaysia. The '-500 series' is well reputed worldwide for its impressive safety record and is also a very reliable aircraft, featuring the lowest cost per passenger and the lowest levels of noise and vibrations inside the cabin". He further added, "We chose the ATR aircraft as we need to consolidate our young carrier with a fleet of modern aircraft offering optimal performance and highest comfort in the regional market".
Stephane Mayer stated: "We are delighted to sign this major deal with MAS because of the confidence they have shown in our aircraft. We are also proud to add such two important carriers as Firefly and MASwings to our growing list of Asian operators. Our aircraft are very successful in the Asian region, with more than 20 carriers operating some 120 ATRs and a backlog around 100 additional aircraft". He concluded: "Today's signatures will allow us to enter for the first time the Malaysian market, which has a very strong potential for the ATR family of aircraft".
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Source : ATR