Officials of ATR, world leader in the manufacturing of regional aircraft with 90 seats or less, last week visited Nigeria to present their brands of aircraft to the federal government. They were hosted in Lagos by Landover Aviation..
Addressing aviation reporters at the Corporate headquarters of Landover Aviation in Lagos, the Vice President Sales, Africa and Indian Ocean of ATR, Mr Guido Di Paolo, said they were in Nigeria to key into the transformation agenda of the Ministry of Aviation.
It will be recalled that the Federal government through the Aviation ministry recently decided to help stabilise the aviation sector by helping airlines to re-fleet. This will involve standing as guarantor to help airlines acquire new aircraft to boost their operations.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold over 1,200 aircraft. Its customer base today comprises more than 180 operators in over 90 countries. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. Its head office is in Toulouse, France.
The French-Italian manufacturer achieves turnover of 1.44 billion dollars and reported in January 2013 that it delivered 64 aircraft in 2012, an increase of 18% over 2011 deliveries. Also speaking at the media briefing, ATR Airline and Product Marketing Manager, Mr Othman Chaoui said the turboprop aircraft manufacturer secured orders for 74 aircraft, as well as 41 options, with 11 customers. ATR held a backlog of 221 aircraft as at the end of 2012, valued at USD5 billion, the largest backlog for a regional aircraft manufacturer for aircraft up to 90 seats.
ATR is at present the only manufacturer offering a range of 50 and 70 seater aircraft. The new -600 series of the ATR is the most recently certified aircraft in its category and benefits from the latest innovations in terms of navigation and communication aids as well as passenger comfort. Despite this recent certification, the new ATR -600 series have already registered more than 280 orders.
When asked the unique selling point of ATR, Mr Di Paolo said ATR brand of aircraft are not just fuel efficient, but are easy to maintain for operations by airline. According to him ‘’ it will be wasteful for airlines to use big planes like Air bus or Boeing for short haul flight and regional operations because of cost of maintenance of the planes to accomplish short range flights. It is more economical and profitable to use a Turboprop plane’’
He further said by the end of 2012, ATR had delivered 1,033 aircraft, 422 ATR 42 and 611 ATR 72. ‘’ This is because ATR 42 and ATR 72 are the cheapest aircraft in these category. There Cockpit are the most modern and their Amonia Cabin are a beauty to behold. ATR engaged Giugiaro, an Italian car designer to design the cabin of the planes. This is the first time he is designing interior for aircraft manufacturers.’’