Feb. 13--Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) ordered 40 turboprop commercial aircraft, including an option for 20 planes, from French-Italian manufacturer ATR, the company said on Wednesday.
The order for the purchase of 40 ATR 72-600s is estimated at $988 million in value. DAE is the largest aviation leasing firm in the Middle East with an aircraft portfolio of approximately $ 3.3 billion comprised of B737s, B777s, A320s and A330s. The deal represents DAE's first order for regional aircraft. The 20 firm aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2018, the Dubai company said.
ATR said the contract was a major milestone in its recent history and underlines the increasing interest of leasing firms in the ATR aircraft family.
Khalifa Al Daboos, managing director of DAE, said at the Singapore Airshow that the leasing company was seeking to diversify its portfolio and expand into regional aircraft to meet an increasing demand from airlines that are developing regional air connectivity.
"ATRs are today operated by some 190 carriers all over the world, and this is clearly providing us with many potential opportunities to place this new fleet of regional aircraft," he said.
The low operating cost of the ATR 72-600 makes it a compelling choice for operators that need to offer a differentiated product on short-haul sectors, he said.
Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR, said his company's partnership with DAE would further enhance the visibility of the brand and products in the Middle East, where the aircraft manufacturer expects to continue developing presence in the very next years.
"Thanks to the contribution of lessors, many more airlines can today benefit from the advantages of the newest ATR '-600 series' aircraft, namely in terms of reduced fuel costs, most updated technologies, operating performance and world-class interior designs for passengers ," he said.
ATRs are today operated by some 190 carriers all over the world, and this is clearly providing us with potential opportunities to place this new fleet.
Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told that DAE's order brings diversification of its Airbus/Boeing dominated backlog and the first foray into regional jets.
He said the ATR family is a robust seller and would be placed into customer hands quite easily by DAE. "Customers in Africa or Europe would be prime candidates -- DAE will not be short on takers, especially since this is their first order as far as I can tell since the 2007 Dubai Air Show.
Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The contract value is $74.1 million at current list price. The entry into service is expected from end 2014 through 2015.
The aircraft, an ATR 72-600 prototype, was unveiled during a ceremony, which took place in Toulouse.