June 13th, 2013 -- Regional airline LIAT Limited has started its fleet upgrade with the first new ATR 72-600 aircraft delivered today. This first ATR in LIAT’s fleet is being leased from the lessor GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services). This is the first of a total of eight ATRs (four 68-seat ATR 72-600 and four 48-seat ATR 42-600s) that will be introduced into LIAT’s fleet.
The introduction of these brand new ATR -600s in LIAT’s current fleet of 14 aircraft is a part of the airline’s restructuring plans aiming at fleet modernization and network improvements. By progressively replacing its current fleet of former turboprop aircraft with the modern and fuel efficient ATRs, the airline will significantly reduce operating and maintenance costs, gain further in profitability and offer more comfort to its passengers due to its enhanced seats design. The line-up of the full new generation ATR model range will allow LIAT to optimize their fleet on their pan-Caribbean network with aircraft of one same family, offering both 50 and 70 seat capacity.
“LIAT currently connects 21 destinations throughout the Caribbean with most routes under 100 Nm, like Grenada to Trinidad, or Dominica to Antigua. The 68-seat ATR 72-600s are perfectly adapted to many of our existing and potential routes,” says Ian Brunton, Chief Executive Officer of LIAT. “By renewing our fleet our customers will enjoy more efficiency and better travel experience. The ATR 72-600 perfectly fits with our requirements in terms of low operating costs, most updated technologies and optimal comfort. This is the most-recently certified turboprop aircraft on the market, and we are proud to start our operations with such a modern, successful and well-reputed aircraft”.
It is anticipated that the first ATR 72-600 would be pressed into service before the end of June, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery during 2013 and 2014.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “The delivery of the very first ATR 72-600 to LIAT marks continued development for ATR in the Caribbean region and is an important milestone. Today LIAT joins a group of world class airlines that are redefining on-board comfort and achieving an unrivalled level of cost efficiency. With the new ATR -600s, LIAT carries on its approach of continuous improvement and meeting the challenging strong growth in air travel in the Caribbean region in the most cost-effective way possible.”
The ATR -600 series aircraft perfectly match the requirements of the airlines operating inter-island flights. Today, ATRs successfully fly in many island environments, including the Caribbean, French Polynesia and the South Pacific, the Philippines, the Canary Islands, Indonesia and Malaysia.
About the ATR 72-600:
• Passenger capacity: 68-74 seats
• Engines: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M
• Maximum power at take-off: 2,750 horse power per engine
• Maximum weight at take-off: 23,000 Kg
• Maximum payload: 7,500 Kg
• Range with full passenger load: 900 nautical miles (1,665 Km)
LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The LIAT network covers most of the Caribbean countries from the Dominican Republic in the North to Guyana in the South. LIAT serves 21 destinations including two French islands (Guadeloupe and Martinique); two Spanish speaking destinations (Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico), the Dutch island of Curacao and the unique French and Dutch island of St. Martin/St. Maarten. More information about LIAT may be found at www.liat.com.
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 182 operators in 90 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours. 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. ATR is ISO 14001 certified. This is the international reference standard in the field of environmental management. For additional information, log on to www.atraircraft.com.
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