Caribbean Airlines today took delivery in Toulouse of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft. The Port-of-Spain-based carrier, which becomes one of the very first operators of the new 'ATR -600 series', booked earlier this year a US$ 200 million-valued contract for the purchase of a total of 9 of these aircraft. The aircraft are configured with 68 seats and equipped with the new ATR -600s standards of comfort, including In-Flight Entertainment.
With this new ATR 72-600 delivered today, Caribbean Airlines will start replacing its fleet of five 50-seat Q-300s and introducing newest and most technologically advanced turboprops into its domestic routes. The airline will also add passenger capacity and develop new routes and frequencies within Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean Airlines will also operate some of its new ATR 72-600s in the domestic route network of Air Jamaica, which was recently acquired by Trinidad and Tobago's flag carrier.
ATR is well established in the Latin American and Caribbean region, with some 140 aircraft in operation, plus more than 60 on order.
Commenting on today's first delivery, Robert Corbie, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Airlines declared: "The introduction of this very first ATR 72-600 aircraft marks a real milestone in our national aviation. It represents the arrival of the most modern and cost-efficient regional turboprop aircraft into our country. It will bring even better connectivity and comfort to our passengers, at optimal fares".
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: "We are proud of including such a fast growing and dynamic carrier as Caribbean Airlines among our list of operators. The ATR -600 series aircraft are optimally suited for the short-haul routes they operate. The ATR 72-600s reduces up to 50% the fuel consumption and up to 30% the operating costs if compared to other 70-seat regional aircraft. It features also optimal performances on short runways. The new ATR -600s are becoming really popular aircraft among Latin America and the Caribbean carriers. There will be some 60 ATR -600s operating soon in the region".
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