ATR and Air Madagascar, Madagascar’s national airline, announced the signing of a contract for the purchase of three ATR 72-600s for a total of approximately 77 million dollars.
The first aircraft will be delivered as from 2017.
At the same time, the airline has recently signed an agreement with the Irish leasing company Elix Aviation Capital to add two new ATR 72-600s, the first having been delivered today and the second being delivered next month.
The arrival of all these five ATRs of the latest generation will enable Air Madagascar to renew its fleet of ATRs, which currently consists of one ATR 42-500 and two ATR 72-500s, significantly increasing seat capacity on the main domestic routes, while offering passengers the highest levels of comfort.
Air Madagascar is a long-time customer of ATR. It introduced its first ATR, an ATR 42-300, in 1996 and has operated the ATR -500 series since 2005.
Henry Rabary-Njaka, Chairman of the Board of Air Madagascar, was “very pleased to be among the first African operators to fly the new ATR -600 series. These aircraft have become a veritable benchmark for regional airlines around the world. The performance of the ATR 72-600s notably on short and unprepared runways, along with their strong reliability, make these aircraft a real asset in the expansion of our regional transportation network. In addition, their low operating costs will allow us to offer the most attractive airfares. The new ATR -600 series are also at the forefront of technology in terms of comfort, and we are pleased to offer these new standards in modernity to our passengers.”
He added: “In the long term, we will increase our fleet of latest generation ATRs up to seven aircraft”.
To this day over 110 ATRs are in use in 27 countries in Africa and the Middle East, flown by more than thirty operators.
Thanos Pascalis, Chief Operating Officer for Elix Aviation Capital said: “We are very pleased to expand our portfolio of regional aircraft with the latest generation of ATRs. The ATR 72-600 is a real commercial success worldwide, and as specialists in turboprop aircraft leasing we want to develop our portfolio by offering this aircraft to our clients. We are pleased to begin this partnership with ATR and with Air Madagascar, and we are confident that the ATR -600 series will allow us to develop other business opportunities in the very near future.”
Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, highlighted:
“the solidity of our partnership with Air Madagascar, which began almost twenty years ago and has greatly enhanced air transport across the country. ATR aircraft have become essential in the fleet of Madagascar’s national airline: they provide operational flexibility while offering very competitive operating costs. These ATR -600s will enable Air Madagascar to revitalize its fleet with aircraft which, for many years already, have shown themselves to be the best solution for short-haul transport worldwide.”
He also added: “We are also very happy with the fact that Elix Aviation Capital has added the ATR ‘-600’ to their growing portfolio of ATRs. We hope to continue to develop this partnership to bring ATR -600s, already present in the fleets of over 40 companies, to an even larger number of operators.”
As of today, more than 500 ATR -600s have been sold all over the world.