Tanzanian carrier Precision Air Services has today taken delivery of the first ATR 42-600 to go into scheduled commercial service. It is also airline's first brand new -600 series aircraft out of 5 (4 ATR 42-600s and 1 ATR 72-600) ordered in December 2011. The official ceremony which took place earlier today at the ATR Delivery Center in Toulouse, France, was attended by Alfonse Kioko, CEO of Precision Air Services and Filippo Bagnato, ATR CEO.
The introduction of these new series airplanes will increase its ATR fleet to 14 aircraft thus making Precision Air Services the largest ATR operator in Africa. The carrier is keen to further develop its regional network, adding new routes and frequencies to its domestic and regional markets. This fleet expansion will allow the airline to offer its passengers the advantages and comfort of the new ATR -600 series 'Armonia' cabin.
The aircraft's first commercial flight should take place upon its arrival in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, when the ATR 42-600 takes off for Kilimanjaro.
The second ATR 42-600 will be delivered towards the end of this year with the other deliveries continuing throughout 2013. The handover of the ATR 72-600 is scheduled for 2014.
Alfonse Kioko, Group Managing Director and CEO of Precision Air, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the new ATR 42-600 to our already existing young fleet in line with our continued mission to develop and provide superior air transport services that will exceed customer expectation. The ATR 42-600 is also suited to our growth ambitions on the African continent. Needless to say, as a Tanzanian regional Airline, Precision Air honors Tanzania today in making our country the first and only African country to own this sophisticated very modern navigation model that will optimize time for approach, reduce fuel consumption and promises more comfort for our passengers due to its seats design. By expanding our fleet our customers will enjoy more efficiency and better travel experience from us. We are now giving our customers a greater choice and better service.”
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “The delivery of the very first ATR 42-600 in the African region is the latest milestone in ATR's long journey together with Precision Air Services. Today Precision Air Services joins a group of world class airlines that are redefining on-board comfort and achieving an unrivalled level of cost efficiency. With the ATR 42-600, Precision Air Services carries on its approach of continuous improvement and meeting the challenging strong growth in air travel in Africa in the most cost-effective way possible. We are convinced that our longstanding and fruitful long-term relationship will continue growing and developing in the coming years”.
ATR also supports Precision Air Services' training needs and in 2006 set up a partnership for certified aeronautical maintenance training for Tanzanian students. Each student spends one academic year at the Aeronautical Technical School in Toulouse, France, and then joins Precision Air Services' maintenance crew in Dar Es Salaam. So far, 12 students have already graduated from these courses and joined the airline. 5 students are currently undergoing intensive training, while 24 more are expected in the coming years.
Source: ATR Aircraft - an Alenia Aeronautical and EADS joint venture
Date: Nov 9, 2012