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ATR Sells 11+8 Regional Turboprops (Jun 14)

LE BOURGET, France --- Finnish Commuter Airlines (Finncomm Airlines) has signed a contract for 8 firm new ATR 42-500 aircraft plus an option for 8 ATR-500 Series aircraft. With this order, Fincomm Airlines becomes a new ATR customer.

This order was unveiled on the occasion of a press conference held today at the Paris Air Show. With the 8 firm orders, Finncomm Airlines will replace the Golden Air’s current fleet of Saab-340s produced by Finncomm Airlines on Finnish routes. The options are planned to meet the expected traffic growth.

The total value of the contract, including options, is approximately US $250M.

The 8 ATR 42-500 aircraft will feed the Finnair Helsinki hub and will be also operated on the Finncomm Airlines regional network.

Juhani Pakari, Managing Director of Finncomm Airlines declared: “ATR is a key player on the regional air transport market and we consider that the ATR 42-500s are particularly well adapted to our network. Indeed, these aircraft are the best combination of fuel-efficient technology and high level of comfort. We selected the ATR-500 series aircraft after a long evaluation process during which we had confirmation from existing ATR customers of the outstanding support of ATR to its operators and its low overall operating costs.”

The 8 firm aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between late 2005 and the end of 2007 and up to 2009 for the optional aircraft. Equipped with the new “Elegance” cabin, the 48-seat ATR 42-500s will be delivered with the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools: Aircraft Communication Addressing & Reporting System (ACARS), Multi-Purpose Computer (MPC), Precision Area Navigation (P-RNAV) including its possible upgrading to the Required Navigation Performance (RNP-RNAV) that is foreseen to be mandated in 2010.

Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, stated: “I’m delighted that Finncomm Airlines has chosen ATR. The high quality standard, reliability and low operating costs of our aircraft have made the difference. With this contract, ATR increases its number of operators worldwide and secures its position in Northern Europe. We are particularly proud to have achieved it with an operator of the standing of Finncomm Airlines.”

Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 727 aircraft (389 ATR 42s and 338 ATR 72s) and 39 from January 1st onwards.

Filippo Bagnato also added: ”With this order, plus other contracts to be announced during the Paris Air Show, ATR will log over 50 new aircraft sales in the first half of 2005. This commercial success is strong evidence of the important role that the turboprop aircraft continues to play in the regional aviation market.”

Founded in 1993, Finncomm Airlines is headquartered in Seinajoki, western Finland, with operational base at Helsinki, and is a partner company of Finnish national air carrier Finnair. The domestic flight schedules have been so planned as to provide suitable connections to Finnair’s further international flights. The two carriers have been co-operating since 1998, when Finncomm Airlines started to feed Finnair domestic operations thanks to the operational support of Golden Air’s Saab 340 aircraft.

Currently Fincomm Airlines operates two Embraer ERJ-145 jet aircraft under codeshare with Finnair from Helsinki to Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Oslo. (ends)
Finncomm Airlines Orders 8 ATR 42-500 Aircraft, Plus 8 Options