DUBAI 2011: ATR adds to record year with NordStar order for 3 ATR 42-600s

NordStar Airlines has placed a firm order for three ATR 42-600s, taking the manufacturer’s 2011 firm orderbook to 148.

NordStar, the brand of the Taimyr Air Company, has already signed contracts for two firm ATR 42-600s and two options earlier this year, meaning its backlog now stands at five firm and two options. The carrier already operates four ATR 42-500s.

The 148 firm orders for ATR aircraft this year have a list price value of $3.3 billion, reported CEO Filippo Bagnato. “In the overall regional market including jets, 80% of all 2011 sales are ATRs,” he noted. “Our backlog of 267 aircraft is worth $5.9 billion, a historical high. This equates to 71% of the total 50-90 seat regional aircraft backlog.”

The company still has firm orders for 40 ATR 72s and 4 ATR 42s where customers have asked for their identities to remain undisclosed at present. These are primarily -600 Series aircraft with a few -500s (the last -500 is expected to be delivered in 2012 unless more orders are forthcoming). Of those orders still undisclosed, the first aircraft are due for delivery in 2012.

Since the ATR 72-600 entered service during the third quarter of this year, around 1,000 hr flights have been achieved. “Customer airlines are happy with the despatch reliability, which is approaching 100%,” Bagnato commented. “Passengers are happy too. A survey was done with Royal Air Maroc and received remarkably good feedback.”

Asked if there was any concern for customers to obtain financing, Bagnato pointed out that of the 2011 sales, around 25% have been with leasing companies (GECAS, Air Lease Corporation and Nordic Aviation Capital). So Bagnato believes their appetite for the aircraft can give airlines confidence that if direct financing difficult there are possibilities for sale and leaseback deals.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Dubai, UAE

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