Russia's UTair orders 20 ATRs for 426 mn dlrs

7th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian airline UTair has signed an order for 20 ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft worth $426 million (300 million euros), the two companies announced Thursday.

"We are pleased to modernise and almost double our ATR fleet with the acquisition of these new ATR 72-500s," Andrei Martirosov, UTair chief executive, said.

"The ATR aircraft have proven themselves as the right tool for regional connections in the Russian Federation and Ukraine," he added, highlighting their ability to handle the "harsh Siberian conditions."

ATF chief executive Filippo Bagnato said: "The Russian Federation and the CIS countries are providing us strong commercial opportunities as they expand their regional connectivity."

UTair flies a network of routes across Russia, the CIS nations and the Baltic states, using planes and helicopters.

ATR is jointly owned by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), which also controls Airbus, and Alenia Aeronautica, part of Italy's Finmeccanica.

Based in Toulouse, southwest France, it specialises in making 50- to 74-seat regional turboprop aircraft.

UTair already has 17 ATR aircraft in its fleet, including 12 ATR 42-300s and three ATR 72-500s in Russia; and two ATR 42-300s operated by its subsidiary UTair Ukraine.

© 2011 AFP

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