NordStar ATR 42-600s. Courtesy, ATR

Russia's NordStar Airlines signed a contract with ATR for the purchase of three more firm ATR 42-600s, adding to an agreement inked in September for two firm ATR 42-600s and two options. The total value of the seven aircraft is estimated at $132 million. 

NordStar will become the first operator of a new ATR -600 series aircraft in the Russian Federation. ATR CEO  Filippo Bagnato said, "We are pleased to introduce the new ATR -600s in Russia, which is a very dynamic market with a huge potential for the expansion of regional aviation with the most modern turboprops." Some 38 ATR aircraft are currently in service in the fleets of Russian and CIS carriers and 15 additional ATRs are on firm order.

NordStar last year placed an order for four firm ATR42-500s plus three options; the four firm aircraft were delivered this year (ATW Daily News, March 15)

"We have been operating four new ATR 42-500s since May 2011 and the aircraft have fully met our expectations in the difficult operating environment of Krasnoyarsk Region and Russia's Far North. They have become very popular among our passengers," NordStar general director Kirrill Buryy said. "With the arrival of the new ATR 42-600s, we will further expand our travel offer, with new routes and additional frequencies within the Krasnoyarsk region."

The three additional firm orders from NordStar bring to 148 ATR's total firm sales for 2011, which is on track to be a record sales year for the company. ATR has also booked options for 72 aircraft this year.