Azul extends ATR maintenance

Brazil’s Azul has renewed its global maintenance agreement (GMA) with ATR for another 10 years, building on almost eight years of co-operation so far.

The companies confirmed the new contract at the Farnborough Airshow, with the agreement covering the repair, overhaul and pooling services of line replaceable units, along with propeller availability and maintenance, plus an on-site stock support. The deal covers the airline’s entire ATR fleet, currently consisting of 33 aircraft. The new support package is ATR’s biggest maintenance contract yet.

Flavio Costa, vice-president operations of Azul, said: “Since we started our operations in 2008, we have been the fastest growing airline in Brazil and ATR has been, and will continue to be, a reliable partner all along the way, making sure that we benefit from the appropriate support, as, when and where needed, to make the most of our aircraft.”

The carrier operates more than 30 72-600 aircraft and is ATR’s largest operator in Latin America.

“When the GMA was launched in 1996, ATR was the only manufacturer offering such a service. Today, ATR is the leader in terms of ‘power by the hour’ programmes for ATR aircraft with over 50% of the market share,” said Tom Anderson, senior vice-president programs and customer services at ATR.

At the end of last year the manufacturer hit a key milestone of more than 300 in-service aircraft covered by GMAs, with 40 operators. In Latin America ATR has nearly 170 aircraft operated by 30 operators.

ATR also added to its portfolio of customer services, it revealed at the air show. It has launched a new user-friendly e-Spares portal, to make it easier and quicker for customers (operators and MROs) to order parts through automated processes. The new service also makes it possible to order serviceable equipment. “ATR can provide these second-hand parts at very competitive rates, and thus reduce maintenance costs of the airlines, as it develops a commercial activity in the purchase and dismantling of first generation ATRs,” it stated.

It is also targeting certification to extend A-check intervals from 500 to 700 hours before the end of the year. “The worldwide ATR fleet flies more than one million hours per year. With the shift of A-checks from three months to four and a half with a consequent reduction in maintenance costs, an ATR operator can offer up to 700 additional seats per aircraft every year,” it commented.

ATR’s customer support and services activities generate some US$ 350 million per year, nearly 20% of the company’s overall annual turnover, and it is aiming to raise this segment’s turnover by 10% per year.

 

Written by: Mark Thomas

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