Posted on: 12 October 2017
Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas is selling 10 ATR72-600s to Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) to reduce its total debt by US$102 million and continue its fleet renewal, with the first five to leave its fleet by the end of this year.
The remainder of the turboprops are expected to leave during the first half of 2018, said the airline. The sale agreement with NAC also includes the delivery of three new ATR72-600s under operating leases this year.
“We will continue to deploy ATRs to explore new markets and to fly shorter regional routes. However, as we expand our network over the next few years, it is only natural that we replace smaller aircraft with larger next-generation aircraft. In line with our fleet strategy of having the right type of aircraft for the markets we serve, we have identified several markets that are ready to be upgraded to larger aircraft,” said John Rodgerson, Azul’s CEO.
NAC’s Martin Moller, chairman, said his company “see strong demand for ATR 72-600 aircraft both now, and in the future, so we are taking the opportunity to acquire a large number of top-quality aircraft from Azul. This is not the first time we have purchased and remarketed aircraft from Azul and the response from the new operators of these aircraft has been so positive that we have decided to acquire even more.”
He added the company was already talking to several parties about the ATRs, and expected to find new homes for them quickly.
By the end of this year Azul will have approximately 35 ATR aircraft in its fleet. The sale of the 10 ATRs had already been included in its 2017 and 2018 fleet plan to have 122 and 128 operating aircraft by the end of each year, respectively. It also expects to grow 11% to 13% in terms of available seat kilometres this year.