New ATR turboprop still on the agenda: Orsi

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ATR partners EADS and Finmeccanica are in talks about development of a new model by the joint venture turboprop maker, with some announcement likely by year end.

Speaking this morning in London, Finmeccanica chief executive Giuseppe Orsi said that EADS's interest in a "new project for a new ATR" has recently turned positive, and he expects this year to be able to say "where we are going" with a new model to "build on the success" of the current stable of 46- to 50-seat ATR 42 and 68- to 74-seat ATR 72 models.

No details are being divulged, but ATR, confirming that discussions between the partners are underway, notes that its market estimate sees a 20-year demand for around 1,000 90-seat turboprops.

EADS had previously been cool on any future ATR development and in March ruled out any approval for a 90-seater this year.