Caribbean orders nine ATR 72-600s with Armonia cabins

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Trinidad and Tobago's Caribbean Airlines has ordered nine ATR 72-600 turboprops from the European airframer.

The $200 million deal will make Caribbean Airlines a new operator of the type, and among the launch customers for the -600 series' new Armonia cabin.

Italian design house Giugiaro Design developed the new cabin, which features cleanly-styled seats that have been ergonomically designed to ensure greater knee clearance; LED lighting and enhancements to the ceiling, side panels and overhead bins.

Caribbean Airlines' 68-seat ATR 72-600s will also arrive equipped with the aircraft's new avionics suite. Deliveries will begin in late 2011.

"With its fleet of brand new ATR 72-600s, this flag carrier will replace its current fleet of 5 Dash-8 300 aircraft, while adding new frequencies linking Trinidad and Tobago and surrounding destinations," says ATR in a statement.

"In addition, several of the new ATRs will be operated in the route network of Air Jamaica, [which was] recently acquired by Caribbean Airlines."

Commenting on the deal, Caribbean Airlines CEO Ian Brunton says: "The acquisition of the ATR 72-600s will allow Caribbean Airlines to continue to develop and improve the offering to our customers. The low operating costs and fuel consumption of the aircraft are particularly appealing and provide us with tremendous flexibility in adding frequencies and developing new markets in the regional sectors."

ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato adds: "The Caribbean and Latin American area has been an important market for ATR and we see strong potential for further increase in the regional fleets and networks. We also see this agreement with Caribbean Airlines as an important step with great potential for further cooperation to expand our MRO and training resources in the region".