LIAT has today signed a long term lease agreement with ALC for the two new ATR 72-600 aircraft following the airline’s order for new aircraft last week.
ATR and the Caribbean carrier LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport Services) signed an agreement for the purchase of three 48-seat ATR 42-600 aircraft last week with options for two 68-seat ATR 72-600 models. The airline should take delivery of their very first ATR 42-600 later this year in June.
With the new aircraft from ATR, along with the additional leased ATR -600 aircraft, LIAT will replace its current fleet of former turboprop aircraft. The current fleet operates a total of 14 aircraft over its Caribbean network, which includes main hubs at Antigua, Barbados and Trinidad.
“We are very pleased to add LIAT to our growing list of airline customers, and solidify ALC’s market position,” said Kishore Korde, Senior Vice President of Air Lease Corporation.
“The new generation ATR-72-600 is an essential component of our progressive fleet modernisation, as we upgrade to these economical and efficient new aircraft in 2013. We value our association with ALC and the support we have received from them on this important project,” said Capt. Ian Brunton, Chief Executive Officer of LIAT.
“We are pleased to become a new member of the ATR family and to start operating aircraft which have largely proven their efficiency and performances on the type of routes we propose. The aircraft of our modern fleet will feature the most advanced cabin interiors and standards of comfort, while being extremely respectful of the environment, a matter of considerable concern to us at LIAT”.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “The ATR -600 series aircraft perfectly match the requirements of the airlines operating inter-island flights. Their outstanding performance and reliability on this type of routes clearly explains their success in recent years in the Caribbean region, where we have sold new ATR -600s to a number of airlines. We are honoured to see that LIAT, after a thorough and rigorous evaluation, has chosen to switch to ATR -600s and benefit from the many advantages of the most modern family of regional aircraft in the market”.
These orders for the ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft show a trend in preferred aircraft for inter-island operations worldwide. This is mainly due to the economic performance on shorter routes and the ability to operate from small, short airfields.