Aer Arann has successfully taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The aircraft is the first of eight ATR 72-600s ordered by the airline in a contract valued at some US$ 187 million. Seven other planes are scheduled to be delivered in 2013 and 2014. These eight brand new airplanes will replace the older existing fleet of ATR 72-200s and ATR 42-300s. With 3 ATR 72-500s currently in service the new planes will bring to 11 the total fleet of ATRs operated by Aer Arann. The first plane starts service this month, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months. The aircraft will fly in the livery of Aer Lingus Regional, based on a franchise relationship between Aer Arann and Aer Lingus.
Combined with the existing routes operated from airline's bases in Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Knock, the airline will open up 2 new routes departing from Dublin to Manchester and Birmingham which should bring the airline's route network to 24. Together with existing Aer Lingus mainline services to Manchester and Birmingham, these new services will result in a significant ramping up of frequencies on two of the busiest routes on the Ireland to UK network. Also, Aer Arann plans to increase frequencies on its Dublin Edinburgh and Dublin Glasgow routes.
Commenting on the deal, Sean Brogan, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Aer Arann, declared: “We are delighted to be partnering again with ATR. Regional traffic is substantially developing and we aim to upgrade our regional aircraft fleet with the new ATR -600s. These aircraft offer high economic efficiency, optimum performance and exceptional passenger comfort. We are convinced that these new airplanes will bring very interesting business opportunities, while further developing air traffic in the region”.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared that “ATR is honored to be associated to the growth of Aer Arann and Aer Lingus Regional. We are happy to partner with such prestigious operators. Today we are eager to further develop the presence of the new ATR -600s in Europe, a market with a strong demand for new generation ATR turboprops. This demand is driven by increasing operating costs for airlines and the fact that many fleets need to be renewed soon. Aer Arann has a strong commitment to the environment and this is exemplified by their choice of the most “Green” aircraft available today!”
Source: ATR Aircraft - an Alenia Aeronautical and EADS joint venture
Date: May 6, 2013