French airline Air Caraïbes took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 today.
The aircraft, delivered in Toulouse, is part of an order for three ATR 72-600s, placed in 2014 and delivery of which will continue until 2019.
The new 74-seater ATR 72-600s have 4 more seats than the current ATR 72-500s in operation, enabling the company to increase its capacity throughout its entire regional network. To date, Air Caraïbes operates its ATR aircraft on various connections between Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, Saint-Martin, and Saint-Lucia, as well as on longer routes to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).
ATR turboprops, with their outstanding performance on short runways, are a reference for inter-island operations throughout the world. An ATR 72 can take off at maximum payload on runways less than 1,200 meters long, a shorter distance than those required by jet aircraft. Thanks to this operational advantage, ATRs are operated by numerous companies offering this type of route in the Caribbean, Polynesia, New Caledonia, Mayotte, Reunion, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Canary Islands, Fiji, the Maldives and Vanuatu.
Equipped with PW127M engines, the ATR 72-600 also boasts the lowest fuel consumption per seat in its class (2.6 L/100 km). This makes it possible to save up to 5,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to a regional jet of equivalent size. Finally, the ATR 72-600 has a dispatch reliability of 99.7%, thus offering very high operational readiness to its operators.
Commenting on the delivery of their first ATR 72-600, Marc Rochet, Chief Executive Officer of Air Caraïbes, comments:
“We have been using ATRs for over fifteen years and are very satisfied with their operating results. ATRs are an essential part of our fleet and our business strategy, and we are delighted to offer the most modern and comfortable version to our passengers.”
Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“To have a highly professional airline such as Air Caraïbes endorse ATR’s superior economics, comfort and reliability is a great testimony. It confirms we are the supplier of choice in an area of the world that relies heavily on regional turboprop aircraft.”
Air Caraïbes was founded in 2000 and has its headquarters at the airport of Guadeloupe. It first operated on the regional network, providing inter-island connections, before expanding to transatlantic routes in 2003. Air Caraïbes has arranged schedules on its regional network to offer passengers from Metropolitan France optimized connections to all its destinations. In 2015, it transported more than 350,000 travelers on its domestic and regional routes. The company has an aircraft load factor of 87%.