LE BOURGET --- On the occasion of a press conference held today at the Paris Air show, Stéphane Mayer, ATR Chief Executive Officer, announced ATR orders for 28 new aircraft in the first half of 2009, thus bringing to 998 the total of new ATRs booked since the beginning of the programme.
Commenting on the orders, Stéphane Mayer declared: “The announcement of bookings for 28 new aircraft in the first half of the year is a clear message of confidence of our customers in the ATR product, and underlines that our aircraft are optimally positioned to answer the current and future needs of regional operators”. He also noted that the new -600 series order book stands already at 59 orders and the customer response has been very positive to the new developments.
Stéphane Mayer also underlined the stabilization of the annual delivery rates, with a forecast of over 50 aircraft to be delivered in 2009. He said: “We have decided to stabilize our annual deliveries, which are already at a historically high level, to optimally answer to the present context and to optimize our production costs. We are secure with a very healthy backlog of 170 aircraft on order, thus ensuring 3 years of production. We have experienced a very strong industrial development in the last few years in order to answer to the revival of the demand for turboprops. Despite today’s market difficult situation, we know the demand is here for the long term, and we are ready to continue our growth and to further increase our production once the economy will recover.”
Stéphane Mayer noted the strong confidence of ATR in the future of the regional turboprop market, with some 2,700 deliveries expected in the next two decades.
Then he unveiled further developments on the ATR -600 series aircraft. He stated: “The new cabin will feature enhanced comfort thanks to redesigned seats, while enlarged overhead bins will allow some 30% additional carry-on capacity. With these new and lighter seats, we will also be able to achieve weight reductions on the aircraft. Furthermore, the new ATR ‘-600’ cabin will feature, as options, both a forward passenger door allowing jet-bridge capability and faster embarking and disembarking, and a dual class configuration with first class seats. We are pleased to provide our customers with a redesigned cabin featuring the most modern technologies and standards of comfort.”
Regarding the customer services activities, Stéphane Mayer declared: “We count today almost 830 aircraft in operation, and the support we are providing to our customers is a key point of our success worldwide. The ATR customer services activities represent a growing percentage of our annual turnover, reaching a substantial 19 % in 2008.”
He added: “Since the beginning of the year we have inked four additional Global Maintenance Agreements (GMA) with Czech Airlines, Berjaya Air, Air Algérie and Air Vanuatu. This brings to 223 the ATR aircraft covered by these agreements, which represents more than 25% of the total ATR worldwide fleet. We are also in the final negotiation stage with a few other airlines, which should bring more GMA contracts in the second half of this year”.
Stéphane Mayer also announced the official launch of the new MRO Policy, under which selected MRO providers worldwide will be formally recognized by ATR and recommended to the increasing list of 140 ATR operators. He concluded: “The launch of our MRO Policy represents an important step forward in our principle of getting closer to our airliners, providing them with some guidance on high-qualified ATR MRO providers. We are currently finalizing the first list of ATR recognised MRO providers, and we will be glad to announce them shortly.”
Toulouse, Southern France-based regional aircraft manufacturer ATR is the world leader in the 50 to 74-seat turboprop market. ATR is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica company) and EADS. In 2008, ATR posted an annual turnover record, with US $ 1.3 billion. ATR is certified ISO 14001, the worldwide standard in the field of environmental respect.