ATR puts break-even target for -600 at 150 aircraft

Toulouse
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Regional airframer ATR must sell 150 of its new -600 series aircraft to recoup its investment in the derivative.

The manufacturer's senior vice-president of operations, Luigi Lombardi, revealed the target during an event in Toulouse to unveil formally the prototype ATR 72-600.

To date ATR has notched up a total of 59 orders for -600 series aircraft - comprising 54 ATR 72-600s and five ATR 42-600s - from seven customers.

Royal Air Maroc will become the first operator to take delivery of a -600 in the first half of 2011. Certification is due next year.

The ATR 72-600 prototype made its first flight on 24 July. It has since completed 15% of its flight-test schedule, which will total 150hr spread across 80 flights, says ATR.

Lombardi says the first -600 series aircraft to be built from scratch will be an ATR 42-600. Power-on is due by year-end, he says, and the first flight is scheduled for "the beginning of next year".