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Brazils Azul Linhas Areas Orders 20 ATR 72-600s

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Areas has signed a contract with ATR for the purchase of 20 ATR 72-600s, plus options for 20 additional aircraft. This makes Azul the first airline in Latin America to place an order for the ATR -600 series aircraft. The deal is worth some US$ 850 million, including options. Deliveries of the new aircraft will commence in late 2011.

The new ATR 72-600 fleet will allow Azul to broaden the ongoing expansion of its domestic regional network, which is currently being developed with a fleet of E-190s and E-195s presently serving over 21 destinations in Brazil, by entering into many other regional routes that are ideally suited for the passenger capacity of the ATR 72-600.

Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, said, We are extremely pleased to include Azul as a new member of the ATR family of operators. Azul gives ATR the opportunity to introduce the newest ATR -600 series into Brazil and Latin America, a country and a region with very high growth potential for regional transportation. Azul is a dynamic, rapidly growing airline and we are pleased to be part of their expansion and success. The reduced fuel consumption of the ATRs, up to 50% less than for regional jets, provides a transportation solution at optimal operating cost and with limited impact on the beautiful environment of Brazil.

David Neeleman, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Azul, added, This is a great moment for all of us at Azul. Our commitment for this brand new fleet of ATR 72-600 will enable Azul to serve even more cities in the vast Brazilian territory, linking smaller communities with major cities with seamless connectivity between our jets and the new ATRs. That allows Azul to gain even more momentum in its fast-paced growth; our customers to benefit from superior service with affordable airfares; and the Brazilian country as a whole, welcoming in many underserved markets this new generation of environmentally friendly, advanced turboprops.

Azul started operations in December 2008, first connecting the Brazilian cities of Campinas to Porto Alegre and Campinas to Salvador, with daily nonstop flights. Now it connects 21 of the largest cities in the country: Campinas, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Maring, Navegantes, Florianpolis, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Campo Grande, Vitria, Salvador, Recife, Macei, Fortaleza, Natal, Manaus, Goinia, Porto Seguro, So Paulo, Cuiab and, in August, Braslia. Azul also offers bus lines to other key points, taking its number of cities served to 25. Its fleet is the youngest in the country, composed of 10 Embraer 190 and 8 Embraer 195 aircraft.

ATR is well established in Brazil, where 37 of its aircraft are currently operated by 3 carriers. As of today, ATR has 106 aircraft and 25 operators in Latin America.

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