DUBAI: ATR taps potential in Africa, Middle East

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ATR believes is looking to tap into the strong potential for further turboprop sales to carriers in Africa and the Middle East.

“Historically the Middle East is not a region that has a very large penetration of turboprops and regional aircraft but if you look around further at the African continent there is a lot of potential there,” says the airframer’s head of global sales, John Moore.

At the Dubai Airshow, it announced an order for one ATR 72-600 and one option for Saudi private operator Alpha Star Aviation. Lessor GE Caplital Aviation Services also added five more ATR 72-600s to its backlog.

Although it is only for one aircraft initially, Moore says that the Alpha Star order could open the way for more sales in Saudi Arabia.

“There is potential for regional airline development in countries like Saudi Arabia where there’s not a lot of good domestic interconnectivity,” he says.

Moore also notes that markets like Iraq and Lybia also have good potential, but that would only be realised once the political situation in those countries stabilises.

ATR says there are 108 of its aircraft in service with 30 operators in Africa and the Middle East.