Bangkok Airways, ATR’s long-term and loyal customer, today took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 at a special ceremony in Toulouse, France.
The handover marked a key milestone in the carrier’s development as it plans to take delivery of nine new ATR aircraft from now until 2017. The new-comer will join Bangkok Airways’ existing fleet of ATR 72-500s and will be operated on the airline’s expanding network of domestic and regional services.
The introduction of these new 70-seat ATR 72-600s, the most fuel efficient aircraft in their category, will contribute to Bangkok Airways’ economic performance in the long run as the airline expands its fleet capacity and widens the scope of its activity. These new generation ATRs are equipped with a new full-glass cockpit and feature a high comfort layout with larger overhead bins. The ATR 72-600s are not only known for their reliability and technology but are also the top-selling turboprop aircraft on the market.
Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways, stated: “Today’s delivery is part of Bangkok Airways’ strategy of matching our growing network and frequency requirements with the right aircraft. Choosing ATR for our regional operations is a logical step. The ATR aircraft has the lowest seat-mile cost in its class, is ideally suited for regional and domestic operations, and enables us to provide the highest level of comfort and service to our customers. By focusing on quality service and comfort, Bangkok Airways does its utmost to ensure the best passenger experience and these improvements on the new ATR 600s’ well in line with this strategy.”
Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive Officer of ATR said: “ATR and Bangkok Airways have a very productive and long-term relationship. We are delighted to further contribute to the development of Bangkok Airways, especially in the period of growth for the airline. We are fully confident that the ATR -600s are the best possible aircraft for companies committed to optimizing costs while ensuring a great flight experience for their passengers. These new aircraft will offer superior performance, economics, passenger cabin comfort and in-service reliability”.
There are currently more than 300 ATR aircraft in operation in Asia-Pacific, flying the colors of more than 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 430 aircraft from airlines in Asia-Pacific since 2005, a figure that accounts for two-thirds of total sales of regional aircraft below 90 seats in the region.