TOULOUSE, Southern France based turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR and Papua New Guinea carrier PNG Air have announced a US$ 134 million contract for the firm purchase of five ATR 72-600s. The deal represents the conversion into firm orders of five options from a previous deal.
Formerly known as Airlines PNG, PNG Air signed for a total of six firm ATR 72-600s and 14 options in 2014. They started operating their first ATR 72-600 in November 2015. Today, the airline operates four ATR 72-600s and will receive the fifth aircraft before the end of this year. The five new ATR 72-600 aircraft plus an additional one on lease will bring the total ATR fleet to 12 when the last aircraft is delivered in 2022.
The airline is currently undergoing a major transformation plan, with an ambitious fleet renewal and rebranding and a new business strategy focused on the domestic market. PNG Air is also expanding into corporate transportation to support businesses aiming to develop their natural resource activities within PNG.
PNG Air CEO, Muralee Siva, said the agreement to acquire the five near aircraft is another important step in the company’s growth.
“The entry into service of our brand new, modern ATR -600s clearly supports our strategy to transform our business by modernising our fleet and offering Papua New Guinea a new standard of domestic air service that is more comfortable and dependable. We will progressively phase out our previous-generation turboprops to introduce an aircraft that has become a reference on the regional market worldwide.”
ATR’s CEO, Christian Scherer, said the deal was significant further proof of confidence from an airline that has recently started operating the company’s ATR -600 craft.
“We are proud to contribute to PNG Air’s development strategy by providing them with a flexible, modern and cost-efficient solution for their various operations. The robustness of our new ATR -600s, along with their ability to operate in remote areas, are great assets for the airline.”
ATRs have been the world’s best-selling regional aircraft for the last 6 years, representing some 80% of total turboprop sales. ATRs, and in particular the ATR 72-600, have established themselves as the benchmark for regional operations in Asia and the Pacific.
Since 2014, the region has boasted the largest fleet of ATRs in operation anywhere in the world, with more than 370 ATR aircraft flying under the liveries of some 60-plus carriers – a fleet volume that has tripled over the last decade.
About the ATR 72-600:
- Passenger capacity: 68-78 seats
- Engines: Pratt & Whitney 127M
- Maximum power at take-off: 2,750 horsepower per engine
- Maximum weight at take-off: 23,000 kg
- Maximum load: 7,500 kg
- Maximum range with full passenger load: 900 nautical miles (1,665 km).