On the occasion of the Singapore Airshow, the European turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR and the Thai airline Bangkok Airways today announced a contract for the sale of six firm ATR 72-600 aircraft and two options, valued at almost US$ 200 million. Bangkok Airways has been operating ATR aircraft for two decades and currently operates a fleet of eight ATR 72-500s. The first new ATR 72-600s will be delivered later this year, allowing Bangkok Airways to start renewing its fleet and to offer all the new comfort and cabin features of the ATR-600s to its customers.
The ATRs are the ideal solution for connecting Thailand's main cities to tourist destinations all over the country and beyond. Bangkok Airways has been a forerunner in opening new exclusive gem destinations for its passengers. The economics and the passenger comfort of the ATR aircraft have been key factors in the development of Bangkok Airways as Asia's Boutique Airline. For 20 years, the ATR fleet has enabled the airline to offer a unique network, expand into new tourism destinations and further develop local economy and social connectivity between the communities in Thailand.
There are currently more than 270 ATR aircraft in operation in Asia-Pacific, flying the colors of 50 airlines. In recent years, ATR has emerged as the preferred choice of Asian airlines when it comes to regional aircraft. ATR has taken orders for more than 320 aircraft from airlines in Asia-Pacific since 2005, a figure that accounts for two-thirds of total sales of regional aircraft with less than 90 seats in the region.
Commenting on the new contract, Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways, declared: “The arrival of these new ATR 72-600 aircraft is the logical continuation of a long-standing partnership that has achieved excellent results over time. The ATRs are an integral part of our airline's identity and of our top-quality services to the most attractive tourist destinations in the country”. He added: “We are looking forward to the arrival of our new ATRs, as they will allow us to offer even more comfortable flying conditions to our customers.”
ATR's Chief Executive Officer, Filippo Bagnato, stated that he was delighted to “renew the partnership with Bangkok Airways, an airline that was a pioneer in the introduction of our aircraft not only in Thailand, but throughout South-East Asia. Airlines like Bangkok Airways have allowed us to consolidate our presence in the region and to demonstrate the multiple advantages of our aircraft for short-haul networks” And he added, “We are very grateful that Bangkok Airways has renewed its confidence in ATR and we are proud to continue to move forward with them, now with the newest ATR -600s.”
Source: ATR Aircraft - an Alenia Aeronautical and EADS joint venture
Date: Feb 12, 2014