Posted on: 16 June 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Braathens Aviation has signed a firm order for five ATR 72-600s and 10 options, deliveries of which will begin by the end of this year.
The current Braathens fleet includes 12 Saab 2000s – which the aircraft in this order are designed to replace – plus 12 Avro RJs and five ATR 72-500s.
ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac noted that the ATR 72-600s will be operating mainly from Stockholm Bromma Airport which “still has very stringent noise limitations”. Additionally he emphasised the importance of continuing to grow the ATR fleet in Europe, reinforced earlier this year when HOP! Air France put 72-600s into service.
Per Braathen, chairman of Braathens Aviation explained that the company is in the process of bringing its nine brands into one brand by January 2016. The new brand will be BRA (Braathens Regional Aviation). This will important as the fleet rollover continues on the jet side with the replacement of the Avros by Bombardier CS100s. “We expect our turboprops to be solely ATRs in 2017, with the new jets beginning to arrive in 2018,” he confirmed. “We would also like to consolidate our three AOCs, but that depends on the unions.”
Asked about the reasons for choosing the ATRs, Braathen said the company didn’t look at Bombardier Q400s because the ATR is “the aircraft the airline needs for flights between half-an-hour and 1.5 hours”.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Le Bourget, Paris, France