Bangkok Airways Signs for Four Additional ATR 72-600s
(Source: ATR Consortium; issued Feb 7, 2018)
The French-Italian ATR consortium has announced two orders for a total of six ATR-72-600 regional turboprop aircraft, which so far are the only aircraft orders announced at the Singapore air show. (ATR photo)
SINGAPORE --- Thailand’s airline Bangkok Airways and ATR have signed a contract for the purchase of four additional ATR 72-600s. The signing ceremony took place at the Singapore Airshow. The deal is valued at over US$ 100 million and will enable the airline to continue the modernisation and harmonisation process of its regional fleet around the ATR 72-600s.
Today, Bangkok Airways operate a fleet of 15 ATR aircrafts, nine ATR 72-600s and six ATR 72-500s that are being progressively replaced with the introduction of the new ATR -600s. Deliveries of these four additional aircraft, configured with 70-seats, will take place between October 2018 and March 2019.
Bangkok Airways, Asia’s Boutique Airline, has been operating ATR aircraft for over two decades. In recent years, the airline has considerably increased its ATR fleet, from eight aircrafts in early-2014 to the current 15, developing new routes, increasing frequency and introducing the comfort and operational versatility of the ATR -600s across its domestic and regional network.
The airline is a very good example of the suitability of the ATR aircraft for short-haul and inter-island operations in South East Asia. ATR aircraft feature the lowest operating costs and the greenest credentials among all regional aircraft of their seat category. They have been, by far, the preferred choice of South East Asian carriers in the last decade. Since 2007, the number of ATRs operating in ASEAN countries has multiplied by five, from 50 to nearly 250.
Commenting on the signature at the Singapore Airshow, Mr.Christophe Clarenc, Bangkok Airways’ Senior Vice President - Technical declared: “Since the introduction of our very first ATR back in 1994 we have built up a solid and fruitful partnership that has substantially contributed to providing air services all over the country, thus developing business and tourism. The ATRs have proven, for years, to be the right aircraft to create new routes and efficiently expanding regional networks. The progressive harmonisation of our regional fleet with ATR 72-600s brings our high-end customers the best standards of comfort, and further consolidates ourselves as Asia’s Boutique Airline.”
Mr.Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, declared: “We warmly thank Bangkok Airways for their commitment and long-standing confidence towards our aircraft. ATR has experienced a dramatic growth in Asia over the last decade, and Bangkok Airways has strongly contributed to this success not only with the expansion of their fleet of ATRs, but also because are a benchmark when it comes to developing networks with eco-efficient and versatile aircraft. More globally, the ATR aircraft created last year some 70 new routes in Asian countries, generating over one million of additional seats and revenue opportunities for their operators. This ability to generate business opportunities is clearly a key point of our outstanding expansion in Asia”.
Bangkok Airways is Thailand’s first private airline since 1968. Taking off daily with about a hundred flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Airways flies travelers from around the world to more than twenty destinations across Thailand and Asia. Samui, Phuket, Trat (Koh Chang), and the Maldives are amongst the hottest beach selections, while Sukhothai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap (Angkor) are World Heritage sites.
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts Acquiring ATR 42-500s to Serve Malaysia’s Redang Island
(Source: ATR Consortium; issued Feb 07, 2018)
SINGAPORE --- Berjaya Hotels & Resorts will be acquiring two pre-owned ATR 42-500 aircraft that it plans to use to launch air services to the Malaysian island of Redang where the hotel group has two resorts. Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ decision to buy ATR 42-500s is testimony to the versatility of the ATR 42. ATR is the only aircraft maker in the world that makes 50-seat commercial aircraft.
The turboprop manufacturer sees a renewed interest in Asia Pacific and around the world for the ATR 42 as it is the right size aircraft for some operators. The upcoming launch of air services from Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport to Redang Island will be a further example of how ATR aircraft can help to boost regional air connectivity and economic development.
“In the Malaysian market, and elsewhere in Asia Pacific, we can see that governments want to develop their tourism industries and the broader economy, but one of the impediments they face is a lack of air connectivity. ATR is the solution to regional air connectivity in the region,” says Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts CEO, Hanley Chew, says: “We chose the ATR 42 because it is the right size aircraft for our needs and it can take off and land on short runways. The airport runway on Redang Island is only 1,100 metres long, so the ATR 42’s capabilities on short runways are very important. The ATR 42 was also selected because this aircraft type is very well supported in Malaysia and the wider Asia Pacific region in terms of spare parts, maintenance support and training programs”.
The two ATR 42-500 aircraft will be reconfigured to have a new interior with 36 passenger seats, and will have a special livery featuring a sea turtle. The company’s resorts on the island, The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort as well as the Redang Island Resort, are supporters of sea turtle conservation on the island. The hotel group aims to launch services in June linking Redang Island to Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport. Berjaya Hotels & Resorts will own the two ATR 42-500s, but the aircraft will be operated by its sister company Berjaya Air.
Eventually, Berjaya Air will look to launch services linking Redang island to Singapore, as having air services from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur’s Subang to Redang will help to further boost tourism to the island. The hotel group hotel having its own aircraft means it can cater to both the FIT (free independent traveler) and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) market.
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts plans to win over travelers and event organisers by offering packages that include both air fares and accommodation. When it comes to attracting international tourists, Berjaya sees Redang as an extension of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. That is how it can be marketed. International tourists can fly into the city and spend a few nights before heading out to the beautiful islands off the coast of Peninsula Malaysia.
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, a public listed Malaysian conglomerate. Presently, the group manages Berjaya properties in Malaysia, Asia Pacific and UK. From exotic island resorts to city hotels, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ prominence extends across borders with the establishment of international hotels and resorts in Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, United Kingdom and Japan.
ATR was founded in 1981 and is the world leader on the market for below-90-seat regional aircraft. Since its creation, ATR has sold nearly 1,700 aircraft. ATR aircraft equip the fleets of some 200 airlines in nearly 100 countries. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautical players, Airbus and Leonardo. Based in Toulouse, ATR is well established worldwide with a large customer support and sales network, including customer service centers, training centers and warehouses.