STAMFORD, Conn., 4 Jan. 2012. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), General Electric’s commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm, has placed an order for two additional ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft, and two options. GECAS officials placed the company’s first-ever ATR order in June at the Paris Air Show; this follow-on contract brings the total number of ATRs ordered by GECAS to 17 with 17 options. GECAS will start to take delivery of the new aircraft in late 2012.
GECAS has leased three of its ATR 72-600s to Brazilian regional carrier TRIP Linhas Aéreas and has signed with Jet Airways in India for another five units.
“About half of all commercial air routes are less than 500 nautical miles and turboprops like the ATR 72-600 perform very well on these stage lengths, especially when fuel costs are high,” explains Todd Freeman, senior vice president regional aircraft programs at GECAS. “This adjustment to our earlier order gives us additional product to meet the forecasted demand.”
“There are some 180 ATR operators around the world, operating their aircraft in very different environments. The ATR 72-600 is optimally suited for short-haul operations, combining lowest operating costs with optimal fuel efficiency and high standards of passenger comfort,” says Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR.
The ATR 72-600 joins the company’s portfolio of more than 1,750 owned and managed aircraft, including narrow-body, wide-body, and regional aircraft. ATR’s new 600-series are said to offer airline operators improvements in performance and passenger comfort, technology enhancements such as a new avionics suite, and high standard of commonality with ATR’s current products.