ATR has won a $350 million order for 20 ATR 72-500 aircraft from rapidly expanding Indian airline Kingfisher. The airline also has options on a further 15 aircraft.
The airline says that the introduction of the type, equipped with an in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, will “put it ahead of the competition”.
The order represents the first move into regional aircraft by Kingfisher. It plans to use the aircraft for feeder services from secondary cities to major hubs.
“This aircraft will feature a number of firsts in the Indian market including the IFE system which is a key differentiator for Kingfisher Airlines and puts us ahead of our competitors,” said Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director of Kingfisher Airlines at the show yesterday.
Nigel Harwood, chief operating officer with the airline, said: “We have fully evaluated competing turboprop and regional aircraft  and chosen the ATR as it offers the best in-country support – having served India for the past number of years – operating economics which are important as it enables us to manage our costs as an expanding airline, and fuel burn as in today’s environment fuel price is the single largest contributor to operating costs.”
For ATR, the order caps a remarkable year in which it has seen its order backlog soar from just nine aircraft to 90 now.
Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR, said yesterday: “I’m specially proud that Kingfisher Airlines made the choice in favour of ATR. This new contract asserts our leadership in India’s regional market and confirms the suitability of ATR aircraft in that country.”

Source: Flight Daily News