ERA 2013: NAC orders 15 more ATR 72-600s

ATR has sold a further 15 72-600s with 25 options to Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), a follow-on order to the 35 firm and 55 option deal the lessor signed during the 2013 Paris Air Show last June.

Martin Møller, chairman of NAC, said that the lessor had hoped to announce this and the previous transaction as one deal at Le Bourget. “In fact, on the Monday of the show we still intended that, but it didn’t come together with the customer whose deal would have made it worth confirming.

“The contract signed in Paris was a milestone and this is almost 50% more. So we clearly view this as an investment. In just a few years we’ll see 200 ATRs in the NAC portfolio,” Møller added. “Today’s order is partly to satisfy the recently announced Garuda order and also to keep up with our customers around the world.”

Asked about the firming up of options, Møller commented, “It’s not going to be too long before we expect to firm up the first set of options. We’re pretty much sold out until end of 2014 and most of the 50 firm orders from Paris and today are placed.”

Deliveries of the aircraft from the Paris Air Show order will begin during October. The rest of the orders, if the options are confirmed will see NAC receiving aircraft through to 2021.

While the latest order is for 72-600s, both Møller and ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato see a strong role for the 50-seat ATR 42.

“As I have said before, we expect around 10% of future production to be 42-600s,” Bagnato remarked. “We see a replacement market coming up because there are many 30-seaters reaching the end of their economic life.”

“We’re seeing strong demand too for 42-500s as well as 42-600s,” noted Møller. “Currently we have customers clamouring for 42s, even writing strong emails because they cannot get them.”

Progress on a larger ATR turboprop is still with the manufacturer’s parent companies, but Bagnato said he foresees a good market. Møller, however, believes Bagnato is sensibly understating the demand. “Everybody is looking at driving seat-mile cost down. It’s about time [for this aircraft] and we can’t wait for delivery,” he declared.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Salzburg, Austria

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