Brazil's Passaredo Linhas Aereas introduces ATR 72-600 into its fleet

Brazilian carrier Passaredo Linhas Aéreas today introduced the new ATR 72-600 into its fleet. The airline and the US-based leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) have entered into an agreement for the introduction of four ATR 72-600s, and today took delivery of the very first of these aircraft at the ATR facilities in Toulouse, France.

On the occasion of this delivery ceremony, ATR and Passaredo officially unveiled as well that they signed a contract for the purchase of ten ATR 72-600s plus ten options, valued at some US$ 450 million. The airline will introduce the four ATRs leased from ALC and the ten firm aircraft booked with the aircraft manufacturer progressively in 2012, 2013 and 2014, thus bringing to 14 its total fleet of ATR 72-600s. In addition to this fleet of ATR 72-600s, Passaredo will also start operating this year two leased ATR 72-500s.

With the arrival of these new 70-seat ATRs, Passaredo will progressively add passenger capacity and substantially reduce seat-costs on its regional network. The airline will benefit from its Interline Agreement with Brazil's leading aviation group GOL and will further develop its regional network with the introduction of new routes across the country.

Commenting on the introduction of these aircraft, Steven Udvar-Hazy, Chief Executive Officer of ALC, declared: “We are pleased to add Passaredo to our growing list of customers. Out of a total of twelve ATR 72-600s ordered from ATR since July 2010, we have already placed ten with Brazilian carriers. This is clearly underlining the dynamism of the Brazilian market and that ATRs perfectly match the requirements of the regional operators in Brazil. We are convinced that, due to their strong and increasing attractiveness among regional carriers around the world, the new ATRs will keep providing us with substantial business opportunities in the near future”.

Luiz Felicio, President of Passaredo Linhas Aéreas, declared: “The ATR aircraft is proving itself as the right tool for regional operations in Brazil, as it combines highly reliable performance at small airfields and short runways with the highest standards of passenger comfort and very limited environmental footprint. Both from a cost and modernity perspective, the ATR 72-600 aircraft is definitely the best suited regional aircraft for short-haul operations in Brazil”.

Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “We are experiencing an extraordinary success in Brazil, where we have booked orders with regional carriers for some 50 ATRs within the last couple of years. This growth of regional operations in Brazil is also creating business opportunities for leasing companies that have invested in the ATR product. Lessors' interest in ATRs is dramatically increasing. In 2011, the best commercial year for ATR, leasing companies represented more than 20% of the total aircraft sales”.

ATR is well established in Latin America and the Caribbean region, with more than 130 aircraft flying in the livery of 29 operators, including more than 60 aircraft currently being operated in Brazil. Within the next three years, the number of ATRs flying in Brazil will grow beyond 100 aircraft.

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Source: ATR Aircraft - an Alenia Aeronautical and EADS joint venture
Date: May 22, 2012