FARNBOROUGH: ATR heading for record annual orders

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ATR is confident it will surpass its 2011 order intake of 157 after unveiling 144 firm aircraft plus 112 options on the first day of the Farnborough air show.

The 72-seat ATR 72-600 accounts for 119 of the firm orders and the 42-seat version for 25.

“We are getting close to our record year. We are confident that we will surpass the 157 aircraft target before the end of the year,” says ATR chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac.

In 2011, ATR also booked 79 options.

The Franco-Italian manufacturer arrived at the Farnborough air show with 107 firm orders, including 20 ATR 72-600s ordered by Middle Eastern operating lessor DAE Capital at the Singapore air show in February. DAE also took 20 options.

Spain’s Binter Canarias ordered six aircraft of the type in the first quarter while Bangkok Airways committed for three ATR 72-600s earlier this month.

At Farnborough, the manufacturer revealed an order for 10 ATR 72-600s from Synergy Group, which also took 20 options. The aircraft will be operated by Avianca.

Other orders disclosed at Farnborough were from Asian carriers. Maldives-based Villa Air ordered an additional ATR 72-600 while Air Tahiti committed for two ATR 72-600s along with one option. Air New Zealand signed for an additional ATR 72-600.

Nordic Aviation Capital placed the largest commitment with 75 units. The Danish operating lessor ordered 25 ATR 42-600s, taking 50 options.

The announcements take ATR’s orderbook at more than 500 units for its -600 series.

Today’s backlog stands at 325 units – a historical high, representing about three-and-a-half years of production.

De Castelbajac says the 112 options is testimony to the popularity of the ATR products. “More than 90% of options have been exercised in the past,” he says.

“Backlog has doubled over the past four years and is at the highest-ever levels among up-to-90-seat regional aircraft manufacturers,” says de Castelbajac.

Last year’s deliveries totalled 74 units but for the full year 2014 ATR expects 84 deliveries to customers. “We believe we can achieve 95 deliveries in 2015, and our target is 100 deliveries in 2016,” adds de Castelbajac.

By reaching 100 deliveries a year in 2016, ATR would have increased production 25% in three years.

“It is one of the most ambitious ramp-ups in the industry,” he says.

Asked if ATR is considering a second production line, de Castelbajac says the manufacturer has the capacity to respond to market demand now but does not rule out another final assembly line.

“In the future, if the market is there, why not? But it will be dedicated by market conditions and we need to continue to sell at the rate we are selling.”