ATR and Philippines-based carrier Cebu Pacific today announced the purchase of 4 ATR 72-500s. These aircraft are the conversion into firm orders of 4 of the 8 option aircraft included in the previous contract for 6 firm plus 8 option aircraft inked earlier this year. Today's deal, which includes new options for 4 additional aircraft, brings to 10 the total firm orders of ATR 72-500s.
Cebu Pacific will take delivery of these ten aircraft during 2008 and 2009. All the aircraft will be configured with 72 seats and will feature state-of-the-art technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools and passenger comfort.
Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific, said the additional aircraft will allow Cebu Pacific to serve more cities whose runways are too short for its Airbus fleet. "The Philippines has seventy five airports, of which only about twenty five can accommodate our fleet of Airbus aircraft". He added: "Areas with smaller airports, like Caticlan, will likely experience a business boom as the 72-seat ATRs bring in more tourists and businessmen". And he concluded: "Our expanding service will unlock the beauty and natural wealth of our archipelago. We have hubs in Manila, Cebu and Davao and hopefully Clark. All of these can be staging points for travel to what up to now are largely inaccessible destinations".
Stephane Mayer, ATR CEO, stated: "Cebu Pacific is experiencing a dramatic increase of its domestic services and we are proud to have, once again, their confidence in ATR to face such ambitious expansion plans. Our aircraft are perfectly adapted to the interisland operations across the archipelago. Both in terms of economics and environmental care, the ATR aircraft are unrivalled and will offer an optimal service to the airline".
Since the beginning of the year, ATR has received orders for 92 new aircraft, some of them not yet unveiled. Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 929 aircraft (416 ATR 42s and 513 ATR 72s) and has delivered 749 (396 ATR 42s and 353 ATR 72s), thus posting a current backlog of 180 aircraft.