European regional turboprop manufacturer ATR has taken to 88 its total firm orders since the beginning of the year, notably after its landmark deal with US lessor GECAS for up to 30 aircraft.

ATR, as expected, far exceeded its previous best performance of 53 orders by the end of the Paris show in 2007.

The deal with GECAS - which included 15 firm ATR 72-600s - was underpinned with orders for 10 more of the type from Brazil's Azul and another 10 from Danish lessor Nordic Aviation Capital.

But the older-variant -500 line secured an order as well, after Ecuadorian carrier TAME signed for three ATR 42-500s.

The agreements have taken the airframer's backlog to 233 aircraft, over three years' production even at the planned rate increase to 70 per year. The company has delivered 929.

ATR had revealed orders for 28 aircraft before the Paris show but has identified a total of 60 more, with 37 options, during the event.

This backlog includes undisclosed orders from two customers for 19 ATR 72-600s.

Indonesia's Lion Air has 18 ATR 72-500s on order while lessor Aviation is taking eight - a mix of 72-600s and -500s - for lease, ultimately, to Virgin Australia.

Five more 72-500s are destined for Israir, Malaysia's Firefly and Turkey's Borajet. They bring total orders for ATR this year to 88 with 42 options.

"Our list of customers - both airlines and leasing companies - is dramatically increasing," said ATR chief Filippo Bagnato, who described the airframer's results at the show as "totally outstanding and historical".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news