Avions Transport Régional (ATR) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with this ATR 72-212 in a special "30 years ATR" livery.
Azul Linhas Aéreas will take delivery of the aircraft following a presentation at the 2011 Paris air show at Le Bourget.
ATR was formed in November 1981 by Aerospatiale (now EADS) and Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica, part of the Finmeccanica group) to focus on a 42-seat turboprop aircraft, the ATR 42. Within three years of ATR's creation, the first turboprop took the skies.
First delivery was in December 1985 to Air Littoral Since, ATR has developed a 70-seat turboprop and at 31 December 2010, the manufacturer had 915 aircraft to customers. Its -600 series should start delivering next month with the first handover to Royal Air Maroc.
Backlog stood at 159 aircraft at the end 2010 including five ATR 42-600s, 43 ATR 72-600s, four ATR 42-500s and 107 ATR 72-500s, but a series of announcements at the air show should boost the backlog figure to 200 aircraft.
The 900th aircraft was delivered to TRIP Linhas Aéreas and ATR should reach the 1,000th delivery sometimes in the first half of 2012.
Words by Olivier Bonnassies, Finance Editor with Flightglobal'sCommercial Aviation Online