ATR confident of more orders before year-end

Singapore
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Turboprop manufacturer ATR is confident that it will sell more aircraft before the year ends, a strong indication that it could soon secure an order from Indonesia's Citilink.

"We've sold 50 aircraft this year, and we're confident that we'll announce more this year," Lilian Brayle, ATR senior vice-president product support and services, tells Flightglobal at the inauguration of its new training centre in Singapore. He also confirms that the potential client is from Asia.

Flightglobal also understands that ATR has a team in Jakarta, which is in talks with Citilink. The low-cost arm of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia could order up to about 25 ATR72-600 turboprops.

Separately, while ATR's chief executive Filippo Bagnato declined to talk about the ongoing negotiations with Citilink, he says his target is for ATR to sell 70 aircraft this year.

Citilink had previously said it is evaluating the ATR72-600, configured for 72 seats, and the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, configured for 78, and that it could announce its selection in December.

The turboprops will be used to operate flights from bases in Batam, Lombok and Makassar on low density, high yield routes.

ATR already has a strong presence in Indonesia with Lion Air's regional subsidiary Wings Air's order for about 27 ATR72-600s in February. With that order, the carrier will have a fleet of 60 turboprops, making it the largest ATR operator worldwide.