FARNBOROUGH 2014: ATR on track for record year

ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac kicked off his first show press conference by announcing that the company has received 144 firm orders so far this year and is therefore on track to beat the company’s record year of 2011 when 157 firm orders were announced.

The 144 orders comprise 119 ATR 72-600s and 25 ATR 42-600s with 112 options being placed alongside these. So far, deals have been announced have been ATR 72-600s for DAE (20+20), Avianca through Synergy Group (10+20), Binter Canarias (6), Bangkok Airways (3 – the Singapore announcement was an unveiling of a 2013 order), Air Tahiti (2+1), Flyme (1+1) and Air New Zealand (1). The firm order list price value from these and the undisclosed orders is $3.35 billion.

The company is handling these order with what de Castelbajac says, to his knowledge, “is the steepest ramp-up in the regional industry”. The ramp-up covers a 40% production increase over the past 2 years – to my knowledge, Puts some strain on the supply chain.to 80 deliveries this year, 95 next year and more than 100 in 2016.

The new CEO noted that full-service carriers are now looking to use ATRs to enable lower fares at the bottom end of the fleet. “They use them to compete with low-fare airlines, like Aer Lingus is doing with Aer Lingus Regional competing with Ryanair,” he commented.

Asked about the potential for a second production line, de Castelbajac, remarked, “If the market is there, why not?”

As for the long-discussed 90-seater, a goal for de Castelbajac’s predecessor, Filippo Bagnato, the CEO quipped, “It was not just my predecessor but 99% of the ATR employees who are keen on this aircraft. But one of our shareholders, Airbus Group, does not believe it’s the right time. So we need to show our ability to stay at a large scale of production, to secure an excellent support network and enhance the great platforms we have and make them more efficient. Then we can go to Airbus and say the time is right.”

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Farnborough, UK

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