European turboprop manufacturer ATR booked 42 new aircraft orders in 2008, lower than its forecast of 50, but has revealed several customers for its -600 series variant.

Its backlog of 169 aircraft, the second-highest in 18 years, includes 39 examples of the new -600 turboprop.

At a briefing in Paris today, ATR identified customers for these as Kingfisher Airlines, with 23 ATR 72-600s, while Alenia has another 10 for the Turkish Navy.

Air Tahiti has two ATR 72-600s and three ATR 42-600s and a single 42-600 is going to Air Caraibes.

First flight of the -600 series is expected this year, with deliveries beginning in 2011.

ATR's revenues over 2008 rose to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion, against ATR's $1.4 billion target.

During the year ATR delivered 55 aircraft, against an expectation of 60. ATR's backlog at the end of 2007 stood at 195 airframes.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news