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TAT Group Takes Delivery of its 40th ATR aircraft

21st November 2008 - 05:49 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


TAT Group's leasing subsidiary, AIR Ltd., today took delivery of an ATR 72-500 aircraft which marks the 40th ATR aircraft delivered to the TAT Group. The aircraft will be leased to Bangkok Airways. Coincidentally, both TAT Group and Bangkok Airways are each celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The delivery ceremony was held at the Final Assembly Line of ATR in Toulouse.

With the delivery of this 70-seat ATR, Bangkok Airways brings its ATR 72-500 fleet to 9 aircraft, with an additional aircraft to be delivered next year. The carrier started operating ATR aircraft in 1994 and has become one of the largest operators of ATRs in South East Asia. With the delivery of this new aircraft, the airline will grow the total capacity of its ATR fleet and will be able to face its increasing flight demand, notably to and within the region.

Commenting on the delivery ceremony, Rodolphe Marchais, Chairman and CEO of TAT Group, stated: "We have consolidated a long and very fruitful partnership with ATR since the early nineties, and we are honored with the delivery of this 40th aircraft. We are very satisfied with the performances of our ATR aircraft, which are being operated worldwide and which have demonstrated to be a very good investment for AIR, our leasing subsidiary." And he added: "We are also very proud of being a partner of Bangkok Airways since the beginning of their operations with ATR aircraft, and to be associated to such an important and respected airline."

Commenting on the deal, Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways, stated: "In today's complicated aviation environment, the ATR aircraft, with their lowest operating costs and lowest fuel burn, represent more than ever the right choice for our regional operations. With the entry into service of this additional ‘-500 series', we will be able to introduce more frequencies to our network, while maintaining the high standards of comfort of our ATR fleet." And he concluded: "We are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of our airline, and we are proud to be developing our future with ATR aircraft in our fleet. The environmental benefits of the ATR can help play an important role in the preservation of the environment in Thailand and the South East Asia."

Stéphane Mayer, ATR CEO, declared: "Delivering the 40th ATR to the TAT Group is a major milestone for us. We are proud of the confidence they have shown in our product and in its suitability as a sound investment that is operated in many different environments worldwide We are also proud to count Bangkok Airways among our list of longstanding and loyal operators, an airline which has proved its confidence in the ATR family of aircraft all along the development of its regional network." And he added: "The success of the regional operations of Bangkok Airways with their ATRs is also contributing to consolidate our leading position in Asia, where we have booked orders for more than 130 new aircraft in the last four years."

Today's delivered aircraft is also the 800th ATR delivered since the beginning of the programme (401 ATR 42s and 399 ATR 72s). Up to date, ATR has sold 968 aircraft (419 ATR 42s and 549 ATR 72s) and posts a current backlog of 168 aircraft.

The ATR -500 series:

With its ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500, ATR supplies state-of-the-art aircraft with the highest standards of comfort. The advanced six-blade propeller provides remarkably low noise levels. All ATR models are compliant with noise regulations and have a large margin with regard to Chapter IV (ICAO) noise regulations, effective 1st January 2006. The ‘-500 series' feature the lowest fuel consumption per passenger and CO2 emissions of the regional aviation, thus contributing to make ATR the "Green Player" of the regional aviation.

About Bangkok Airways:

Bangkok Airways, dubbed as "Asia's Boutique Airline" served Thailand and the region for exactly four decades this year. From a humble start as a charter service under the name of Sahakol Air back in 1968, the award-winning airline now boasts its portfolio with the most charming destinations in the region. Facing the rapid growth of tourism and business investments in Thailand, Bangkok Airways presently flies to over 20 regional routes, covering nearly all beaches and World Heritage destinations in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Maldives, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Japan.

About TAT Group

TAT Group came into being in 1968 with the creation of Touraine Air Transport, one of the first regional airlines to make an impact in the history of air transport in modern Europe. Founded by Michel Marchais, TAT Group then diversified into express freight services, aircraft maintenance and leasing. The group today employs 3,600 people worldwide, and is the leading European independent MRO provider.

About ATR

Toulouse, Southern France-based regional aircraft manufacturer ATR is the world leader in the 50 to 74-seat turboprop market. ATR is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica company) and EADS.


The Shephard News Team


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