ATR finalised the sale of three ATR 72-600 aircraft to Gabon’s Afrijet who will use the aircraft to replace part of its ATR 72-500 fleet. From the second aircraft onwards, these ATR 72-600 will be equipped with the latest generation P&WC engine, the PW127XT-M, which delivers increased efficiency and burns less fuel.
The deal is further proof of the ATR’s effectiveness at growing regional routes and networks, thanks to its cost-effective operations. Afrijet initially started with pre-owned ATR aircraft and then moved to a leased ATR 72-600 in 2020. This direct acquisition of brand new aircraft will increase the -600 fleet size to four ATR 72-600, allowing the opening of new routes and increasing frequency.
Regional connectivity has been shown to have a significant impact on local economies, with an increase of 10% in regional flights potentially leading to a 6% growth in regional GDP. The ATR is a proven route opener thanks to its operational efficiency and versatility, burning over 40% less fuel and therefore emitting 40% less CO2 than a regional jet.
Afrijet CEO, Mark Gaffajoli, remarked: “To be effective in Africa an aircraft has to be cost-efficient, reliable and operationally versatile. We need these new ATR aircraft, as creating connectivity in the Gulf of Guinea is vital for the boom in trade and community intergration in the CEMAC zone. As an operator in Equatorial Africa, home of the second largest forest in the world, we are proud to be preparing to invest in a device with a low carbon footprint and a controlled and predictable ecological impact.”
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR, said: “Afrijet continues to trust ATR with its business and we are always proud to see an airline move from a legacy ATR fleet, to introducing the latest generation aircraft and then ultimately purchasing a new fleet. Being in the position to do this during such challenging times really shows that Afrijet has an excellent strategy and business model that they are delivering very well. It also shows that the ATR is the perfect aircraft with which to deliver regional connectivity in Africa.”