Bangkok Airways has ordered six ATR 72-600s plus two options, worth almost $200 million, and ATR has struck a deal with L-3 Link Simulation & Training to open a simulator center in Bangkok.
The new aircraft will be used for Bangkok Airways’ fleet renewal, replacing some of its eight existing ATR 72-500s. Bangkok Airways has been an ATR operator since its launch in 1994.
“This is the start of a new phase for us and ATR,” Bangkok Airways president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said, announcing the deal during a media briefing at the Singapore Airshow.
We have been using the -500 for some time and it’s time to replace them. ATR has come up with the -600, so we will use that to replace the -500 and might also grow the fleet in the future.”
Bangkok Airways will take delivery of the first of its new -600s at the end of 2014. Another four will follow in 2015, to be joined by the final aircraft in 2016.
“The decision on whether we exercise our options should not take long,” Prasarttong-Osoth said. “I am still considering it, together with my colleagues in our network planning department. Once we see how we plan to use the aircraft in the future, when we find out exactly how many aircraft we need for our fleet plan, we will take that decision.”
Immediately after the Bangkok Airways order announcement, ATR confirmed a new Bangkok training center partnership with L-3 Link Simulation & Training. ATW revealed ATR was planning to add another Asian training center in December, joining its existing facilities in Johannesburg, Paris, Singapore and Toulouse, plus its newly opened center in Bogota in cooperation with Avianca.
“This will not only be for Bangkok Airways; it will be for other airlines too because our Singapore center is already full,” ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato said.