GECAS orders two additional ATR 72s

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Lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has placed an order for two additional ATR 72-600s, with two options.

This takes the total number of orders held by GECAS to 17 with 17 options, following the lessor's first ATR order at the Paris air show in June 2011.

"About half of all commercial air routes are less than 500 nautical miles and turboprops like the ATR 72-600 perform very well on these stage lengths, especially when fuel costs are high," said Todd Freeman, senior vice president regional aircraft programs at GECAS. "This adjustment to our earlier order gives us additional product to meet the forecasted demand."

The lessor has leased three of its newly ordered ATR 72s to Brazil's Trip and has signed with India's Jet Airways for five aircraft, it said.

ATR enjoyed healthy sales last year for its ATR 72/42 models, with lessors contributing about 20% of the company's sales in 2011. Bombardier's Q400, in comparison, recorded sluggish sales, with the airframer saying it would reduce production of the turboprop.