Le Bourget, 18 June 2013
Latin-American carrier Avianca takes delivery of its first ATR 72-600
The Latin-American carrier Avianca took delivery today of the first of 15 ATR 72-600s that it commissioned in late 2012, with the signing of a contract which also included options for 15 more aircraft and which was valued at over US$ 700 million.
The aircraft delivered today at the Paris Air Show is configured with 68 seats and is equipped with the new 'Armonia' cabin, a major development of the ATR '-600' series, ensuring optimal passenger comfort. With the delivery of this aircraft, Avianca begins an ambitious process of developing and modernizing its regional network in Colombia and Central America.
Speaking about this delivery, Fabio Villegas Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer of Avianca said: "We are very pleased to begin introducing the ATR 72-600 into our regional fleet. These aircraft will enable us to further increase our service standards while operating our regional routes even more efficiently. Their advantages in terms of passenger comfort, as well as their excellent performance on high-altitude runways perfectly match the requirements of our regional network. They will also enable us to increase our seating offer and reduce operating costs”.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, said: "Latin America has proven to be a very important market for us recently. We have doubled our presence in this region in the last five years, positioning our aircraft as essential tools for the strong growth in regional traffic. We are particularly proud to be associated with Avianca, a company with a great reputation and prestige, and to be able to place reliability, comfort, low operating costs and low environmental footprints of the ATR 72-600 at the service of their growth in region."
Avianca will gradually replace the Fokker 50s and ATR 42s currently in service. The first ATR 72-600 will serve destinations including Barrancabermeja, Florencia, Manizales, Neiva, Pasto, Popayán, Tumaco and Yopal in Colombia. Later, other ATR 72-600s will be used to connect Guatemala City and Flores (Guatemala), Tegucigalpa, Roatán and San Pedro Sula (Honduras), San Salvador (El Salvador), Managua (Nicaragua) as well as San José and Liberia (Costa Rica).
Avianca is one of the leading airlines in Latin America, where it is seeing particularly rapid growth. It currently operates a combined fleet of 151 aircraft, representing the second largest fleet in Latin America. It serves over one hundred destinations in Latin America, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.
Alongside with the introduction of the ATR 72-600s, ATR and Avianca are preparing to jointly set up the first ATR-approved pilot training center in South America, which will open in the coming months at Avianca facilities in Bogota, Colombia.
ATR accounts for approximately 160 aircraft operated by Latin American airlines, which will be augmented by some fifty units to be delivered to the region. ATR has been an immense success in Latin America. This huge success underlines the attractiveness of ATRs for regional routes in Latin America, which is a particularly dynamic market.
About the ATR 72-600:
Passenger capacity: 68 to 74 seats
Engines: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M
Maximum take-off power: 2750 horsepower per engine
Maximum take-off weight: 23,000 kg
Maximum load: 7,500 kg
Maximum range at full load: 900 nautical miles (1,665 km)
Avianca and TACA Airlines form, along with other subsidiaries, Avianca-Taca Holding. With its team of more than 18,000 employees, the airline serves more than 110 destinations in over 25 countries in America and Europe with a fleet of 151 aircraft for short, medium and long-haul routes. Through the Star Alliance airlines, Avianca provides connectivity and services to over 1,200 airports over the five continents. Its frequent flyer programme has over 4.4 million members. Besides its air transportation services for passengers, Avianca has a portfolio of tourism, mail, freight and aeronautical services through its business units Avianca Tours, Deprisa and Avianca Services. In 2012, Avianca carried 23.1 million passengers and reached a turnover of US$ 4,3 billion. For more information, visit avianca.com, Facebook.com/aviancafanpage and twitter @Avianca_com.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold over 1,300 aircraft. ATR planes are represented in the fleets of 180 operators in 90 countries and have totaled over 21 million flight hours. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. Its head office is in Toulouse. ATR is ISO 14001 certified. This is the international reference standard in the field of environmental friendliness.