(Hanoi, December 6, 2007 ) -- ATR and Vietnam Airlines today announced the signature of a contract for the purchase of 5 new ATR 72-500s. This contract, will allow the airline to expand its ATR fleet and continue the renewal of its current fleet of ATR 72-200s. The airline started operating ATR aircraft in 1992 and today's fleet includes 7 ATR 72-200s and 3 ATR 72-500s.
These new ATR aircraft, configured with 70-seats, will be equipped with the "Elegance" cabin and Light Emitting Diode (LED), as well as with state-of-the-art technological innovations in passenger comfort, communications and navigation aid tools. Deliveries of these aircraft will start by the end of 2009.
Commenting on the deal, Nguyen Sy Hung, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines, declared: "We do have a very high confidence in the ATR family of aircraft, that we have operated successfully for years. In 2001 we introduced 3 ATR 72-500s to expand and upgrade our fleet with '-500 series' aircraft. Now it's time to start harmonizing our whole fleet with aircraft offering an optimal comfort to the passengers and the lowest operating and maintenance costs". And added: "The growth of Vietnam Airlines is tied to its successful partnership with ATR. This partnership has lead to the development of a strong regional network, connecting remote and small regions to main hubs, and contributing to the growth of the country".
Stephane Mayer, ATR CEO, underlined the importance of Vietnam and the whole Asian market in the success of the ATR programme. He said: "In the last three years, we have booked orders with Asian customers for more than 100 new aircraft. Their choice of ATR aircraft to update their fleets reflects their confidence in the improved performance, technologies and comfort of our aircraft". And concluded: "Our commercial success in Asia is coupled by an increasing presence of ATR in the region. In a short period, we have open spare parts, customer support and training centers, in order to improve also a very high and quality-rated service to our clients. Being close to their needs and support them is a key point of the ATR's strategy of development".