Mayotte-based carrier EWA has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of two ATR 72-600s.
The latest-generation turboprops will replace and upgrade their two currently leased ATR 72-500s. The airline, a subsidiary of Air Austral, has been an ATR operator since its launch in 2013 and uses its aircraft to connect Mayotte with destinations in Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania, providing essential connectivity to passengers travelling for business and leisure.
The aircraft will be equipped with 64 seats with deliveries beginning before the end of this year.
ATR anticipate that in the next 20 years, there will be the need for over 3000 turboprops and regional air traffic will grow 4.5% each year. A significant proportion of this growth will be supported by route creation. 30% of the traffic growth by 2037 will come from routes that do not currently exist. ATR aircraft are proven route openers, with the -600 series aircraft opening over 100 routes a year on average.
Commenting on the deal, EWA Air Chairman, Marie Joseph Male, said: “The acquisition of these aircraft represent an important step for us, as we will be introducing the most modern and suitable regional aircraft for inter-island operations. The -600 series aircraft will continue to deliver the operational efficiency and reliability that has been so vital to us as a new operator, whilst enhancing the levels of comfort that we are able to offer our passengers.”
Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, remarked: “It is most rewarding when an operator comes back to us and signs for more of our aircraft. Beyond the vote of confidence, it is testimony to the level of customer service that we provide. The versatility of the ATR is well proven and markets around the world rely on the connectivity that our aircraft provide. The ability of the ATR to operate on short runways is unmatched by any other turboprop or regional jet and ATRs are the perfect aircraft for linking small communities in this part of the Indian Ocean.”