ATR books 72 orders in first half

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ATR has announced 72 aircraft orders for the first half of 2010. The European manufacturer says firm orders reached 42 aircraft (12 ATR 72-500s and 30 ATR 72-600s) at 30 June while it book options on another 30 aircraft. At last year's Paris Air Show, ATR announced 28 aircraft sales for the first half.

The European manufacturer confirmed orders for two new ATR 72-500s from Swedish regional carrier Golden Air for delivery in August and October 2010. The new aircraft will fly for Finnish regional carrier and SAS feeder Blue1.

ATR also confirmed a two ATR 72-500 order from Lao Airlines for delivery by year-end and two new ATR 72-500 sales from Syrian Airlines that have been delivered.

In addition, the manufacturer disclosed a 20 firm ATR 72-600 order plus options for an 20 additional aircraft with Azul Linhas Aéreas as well as 10 new ATR 72-600 order and 10 options with new lessor Air Lease Corporation.

Another six ATR 72-500s that have been ordered in the first half have yet to be disclosed.

Commenting on the first half orders, ATR's CEO Filippo Bagnato stated: "While consolidating our presence worldwide by getting the renewal of confidence from our existing customers, we are continuing to expand our client portfolio with new operators."

The manufacturer delivered 26 new aircraft (one ATR 42-500 and 25 ATR 72-500s) in the first half of the year and its backlog at 30 June stood at 152 aircraft, which represents more than two years of production.

"Both positive results in terms of orders and deliveries underline the good health of ATR", stated Bagnato.

Bagnato also highlighted the evolution of turboprops in regional market forecasts: "Ten years ago, turboprop represented only 15% of the deliveries in 20-year forecasts for regional aircraft. Today, turboprops represent 40%. We know that the reasons of the turboprop success are here for the long term. Our aim is to continuously propose a product optimally matching the needs of the regional carriers."