DUBAI --- ATR has been selected by Kingfisher Airlines to provide 20 firm ATR 72-500 aircraft, plus an option for 15 additional aircraft. This was announced on the occasion of a joint press conference held today in Dubai between ATR and India’s first Full Service True Value carrier, Kingfisher Airlines.
The value of the contract, excluding options, is US $350M.
The 20 firm aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between March 2006 and August 2008. Equipped with the “Elegance” cabin, incorporating all the latest developments in passenger comfort and amenities, the ATR 72-500 aircraft will also be fitted with the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools, and IFE (in-flight entertainment).
The ATR 72-500s will be used as feeder aircraft on smaller domestic routes to link Kingfisher Airlines’ four hubs that are Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Bangalore.
"It goes without saying that the entire company is excited with our acquisition and is very much looking forward to welcoming the ATR aircraft that we will have in service by March 2006. This aircraft will also feature a series of firsts in the Indian market including the IFE system which is a key differentiator for Kingfisher Airlines and puts us ahead of our competitors. These aircraft will allow us to develop our network and introduce new routes not previously served and we are excited to be bringing the Kingfisher Airlines experience to more cities throughout India,” stated Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director, Kingfisher Airlines.
“We have fully evaluated competing turboprop and regional aircraft and chosen the ATR as it offers the best in-country support, having serviced India for the past number of years, operating economics, which are important as it enables us to manage our costs as an expanding airline and fuel burn as in today’s environment fuel price is the single largest contributor to operating costs. The ATR72-500 is the ideal choice. We are delighted to induct this Aircraft into our fleet next year”, said Nigel Harwood, Chief Operating Officer, Kingfisher Airlines.
“I’m especially proud that Kingfisher Airlines made the choice in favour of ATR“, Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, stated. “This new contract asserts our leadership in India’s regional market and confirms the suitability of ATR aircraft in that country. With the ATR 72-500, Kingfisher Airlines will operate state-of-the-art aircraft which combine both jet-like comfort with unmatched operating economics.”
ATR currently holds a market share in India of 75% in the 50 to 70-seat regional market and of the turboprop sector the market share is 95%.
Filippo Bagnato also commented: ”From the beginning of the year 2005, ATR logged 90 new aircraft sales, and the Indian market has been an important part of our record sales. This commercial success is evidence of the strong revival of the turboprop aircraft in the regional aviation market.”
In the Asia Pacific area, 109 ATRs are currently operated by 23 airlines.
Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 778 aircraft (398 ATR 42 and 380 ATR 72).
The ATR 72-500: New Generation aircraft
The ATR 72-500 is the latest development of the ATR 72 with a proven average dispatch reliability of more than 99.6%. This version shares the same power-plant, six-bladed propellers, the same interior design and soundproofing techniques of the ATR 42-500, thus offering the same excellent comfort and passenger appeal. Its standard capacity is of 68 seats. The ATR 72-500 has the lowest seat mile costs, recognised as a benchmark for the regional market. The increased power and aerodynamic refinements provide excellent take-off and landing performance.
The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) was increased by 300 kg, from 22,500 to 22,800 kg, end of 2004.
All ATR models are compliant with noise regulations and have a large margin with regard to future Chapter IV (ICAO) noise regulations, effective 1st January 2006. The advanced six-blade propeller provides remarkably low outside noise levels. Low fuel burn and gaseous emissions contribute to make the ATR environment friendly.
Kingfisher Airlines is India's first and only private airline to commence operations with a brand new fleet of aircraft.
Toulouse, Southern France-based regional aircraft manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) is the world leader in the 50 to 70-seat turboprop market. ATR is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (Finmeccanica group) and EADS. ATR is certified ISO 9001-2000 and EN/AS/JISQ 9100, the worldwide quality standard in the field of aeronautics