TRIP to add 18 more ATRs, will be airframer’s largest operator

TRIP Linhas Aéreas has announced the acquisition of 18 new ATR 72-600s – nine purchases and nine on lease – plus options to buy 22 more.

The order to purchase nine aircraft was announced by the manufacturer during the 2011 Paris Air Show, but with TRIP’s identity as the buyer remaining undisclosed. The nine leased aircraft will come from lessors ALC (Air Lease Corporation) and GECAS. The first aircraft of this new model -600 will enter into service in October this year.

With the entry into service of the 18 firm ATR 72-600s, TRIP will become the largest ATR operator in the world, with a fleet of 51. Today’s largest ATR fleet, 39 aircraft, is operated in the USA by American Eagle Airlines.

These 18 ATR 72-600 will enable TRIP Linhas Aéreas to expand its domestic network to new destinations, as well as to add seat capacity and more frequencies in routes where demand is growing. Also, the performance of these aircraft on short runways will allow access to the most restricted airports in Brazil.

Commenting on his airline’s acquisitions, José Mario Caprioli Dos Santos, chief executive officer of TRIP Linhas Aéreas, declared, “We have been successfully operating several types of ATRs for more than a decade. Purchasing ATR -600s is a logical continuity in our partnership with ATR. We will be glad to introduce the newest improvements of these aircraft into our fleet, and to enhance and expand our service with even higher standards of performance and comfort, as expected by the growing Brazilian market. We are also proud to become the largest ATR operator around the world.”

Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, noted, “Brazil is providing us huge commercial opportunities as airlines want to expand their regional networks with the most fuel efficient and environmental-friendly aircraft. We are proud that our aircraft are really becoming very popular aircraft across the country. There are some 50 already flying, while 40 aircraft will join in the next three years. We are convinced that the introduction in Brazil of the new ATR -600s, which are now the new worldwide reference of modernity in regional aviation, will contribute to expand and consolidate the popularity of our aircraft in the country.”

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