DUBLIN --- Aer Arann, Ireland’s premier regional airline, and regional aircraft manufacturer ATR confirmed that they have signed a deal to take delivery of 10 new 72 seater ATR72-500 series aircraft over the next three years. This was announced in the occasion of a joint press conference held today in Dublin in the presence of the Ireland Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern.
The deal, which is worth over $180 million, is the single largest aircraft investment by a private Irish passenger airline and the third largest in Irish aviation history. This deal will allow Aer Arann to replace and supplement its existing fleet of 14 ATR42 and ATR72 aircraft bringing it to a fleet of 20 aircraft across its regional network by the end of 2009. The airline will take delivery of two aircraft in 2007, five in 2008 and three in 2009.
Commenting on the announcement Padraig O’Ceidigh, Managing Director, Aer Arann said “This is a significant milestone for Aer Arann and marks a consolidation of our strategic policy in going forward with an ATR fleet. The ATR 72-500 is playing a major role in the growth of regional carriers, offering great efficiency and reliability to modern operations. This expansion will enable us to develop our network further into the UK and mainland Europe and double the size of the airline over the next three years.”
Filippo Bagnato, ATR CEO, said “This new contract shows the confidence that Aer Arann has to the ATR aircraft. This new deal will allow ATR to consolidate its position in the European market”. He added “2006 is confirming the recovery of the turboprop market and the success of ATR aircraft. Since first of January 2005, we received orders for 136 new aircraft, some of which have not yet been announced”.
Since the beginning of the programme, ATR has sold 803 aircraft (398 ATR 42s and 405 ATR 72s) and delivered 692 aircraft (383 ATR 42-500 and 309 ATR 72-500).
Aer Arann is one of the fastest growing regional airlines in the world with a turnover in excess of EUR94 million per annum and passenger numbers in excess of 1 million for 2005. The airline operates over 600 flights per week across Ireland, the UK and France. The company employs over 400 staff and has experienced substantial growth over the past year with the launch of 12 new routes as well as increases in flight frequency. The airline took delivery of two additional 66 seater aircraft to accommodate this expansion bringing its total fleet size to 14 ATR 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. (ends)
Aer Arann Signs a New Contract with ATR