The Toulouse, France-based Turboprop aircraft manufacturer, ATR, says that Caribbean Airlines has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 regional turboprop airliner.
ATR said the Port-of-Spain, Trinidad-based airline, which becomes one of the first operators of the new ATR -600 series, placed an order earlier this year for nine ATR 72-600s. ATR values the deal at US$200 million at list prices.
The manufacturer said Caribbean Airlines’ ATR 72-600s are configured with 68 seats and equipped with the new ATR -600 Armonia interior, which includes an in-flight entertainment system.
The carrier will use its first ATR 72-600 to start replacing its fleet of five 50-seat Bombardier Q300s, ATR said.
“The ATR -600 series aircraft are optimally suited for the short-haul routes they operate. The ATR 72-600 reduces up to 50 per cent the fuel consumption and up to 30 per cent the operating costs if compared to other 70-seat regional aircraft,” said Filippo Bagnato, ATR’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
“It features also optimal performances on short runways,” he added. “The new ATR -600s are becoming really popular aircraft among Latin America and the Caribbean carriers. There will be some 60 ATR -600s operating soon in the region.”
Robert Corbie, acting chief executive officer of Caribbean Airlines, said the introduction of the first ATR 72-600 aircraft “marks a real milestone in our national aviation.
“It represents the arrival of the most modern and cost-efficient regional turboprop aircraft into our country,” he said.
“It will bring even better connectivity and comfort to our passengers, at optimal fares,” he added.
Corbie said, as more ATR 72-600s are delivered, Caribbean Airlines will also add passenger capacity and develop new routes and frequencies within Trinidad and Tobago.
He said Caribbean Airlines will also operate some of its new ATR 72-600s in the domestic route network of Air Jamaica, which was recently acquired by the Trinidad and Tobago flag carrier.
ATR said it has about 140 aircrafts in operation in the Latin American and Caribbean region, with more than 60 additional aircrafts on order by airlines in the region.