Also Holds The Largest Backlog In The Regional Aircraft Sector
Turboprop manufacturer ATR achieved a record annual delivery level of 64 aircraft in 2012, as well as posting its highest turnover at $1.44 billion. The delivery figures represent an 18 percent increase over 2011. The company also put 115 aircraft (74 firm orders and 41 options) on the order books, representing the largest backlog of all manufacturers of up-to-90-seats regional aircraft, the company said in a news release.
ATR recorded these 74 firm sales, plus 41 options, with 11 customers (see table 1). These sales include contracts enabling it to consolidate its leadership in Asia and the Pacific (Malaysia Airlines, TransAsia Airways, Lao Airlines, Avation) and open up new markets in Central and South America (Avianca-TACA). The planemaker also renewed its success with airlines operating island networks (Air Tahiti, LIAT in the Caribbean) and once again confirmed its appeal for aircraft leasing companies such as Air Lease Corporation (ALC), or Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC).
In Europe, ATR for the first time delivered aircraft to an Austrian airline (InterSky) and once again won the confidence of the Irish airline Aer Arann.
Since the program started in 1981, ATR has received net orders for 1,254 aircraft (437 ATR 42 and 817 ATR 72), more than half of them since 2005. The company says its successes are being driven by fast growing economies: out of the year's 64 deliveries (see table 2), nearly 65% were to airlines operating on fast growing economies, in particular in Brazil, Indonesia and Russia. This represents the results of a long investment in these countries in which ATR has always been very active and in which it has always believed. Domestic transportation remains an essential part of these economic developments and ATR plays a significant role to answer to this traffic increase. By the end of 2012, ATR had delivered 1,033 aircraft (422 ATR 42 and 611 ATR 72).
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared to be “very proud of ATR's results in 2012, of our ability to ramp-up production and of these new records, given the current global economic climate. Our production ramp-up in 2012 is a perfect illustration of the strong market demand for ATR aircraft”. And he added: “We are delighted to contribute to customers and operator's growth, that face traffic increase and fleet renewals by introducing the new ATR-600 series. Once again, this year, the latest generation ATRs received the top evaluation ratings, not only from the regional operators, but also the investors. The popularity of ATRs with leasing companies is a further illustration of this. This collaboration has enabled us to penetrate strategic markets such as Japan, with the regional carrier Link, where ATRs have an outstanding potential”.
On 31 December 2012, ATR's backlog stood at 221 aircraft, the largest backlog for regional aircraft of aircraft up to 90 seats. These 221 aircraft have a value of more than 5 billion dollars and represent 61% of the aircraft overall backlog up to 90 seats. They also insure nearly three years of production for ATR.
In June 2012, EASA certified the ATR 42-600, which is already in service. ATR is at present the only manufacturer offering a range of 50 and 70 seater aircraft. The new -600 series 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 -600 series have already registered more than 280 orders.
"The new ATR-600 series is currently the most modern aircraft on the regional market and its commercial success underlines its ability to meet the demands and needs of airlines worldwide, operating on shorter regional routes," Bagnato said. "In line with our policy of continued product development, we are looking to continue to upgrade our range of products and will shortly be introducing more innovations to further boost the performance and efficiency of our aircraft. These developments will enable tomorrow's ATRs to carry navigation and communication systems capable of integrating the very latest traffic management and optimized airport approach functionalities”.
Buoyed by the growth of its aircraft sales around the world, ATR continued in 2012 to expand its operator support network, opening new pilot training centers in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in Singapore. Moreover, a new ATR customer support office has been opened in Sao Paulo to support the increasing presence of ATRs in Latin America, and especially in Brazil.
(Images from file Top: ATR 72-600, bottom ATR 42-600)