Tunisair Express has signed a firm order with ATR for three ATR 72-600s. The deal, worth $80.4m at list prices, will enable the North African regional airline to renew its modest fleet of two ATR 72-500s and a sole Bombardier CRJ-900 – all of which were acquired in the early part of 2011.
The turboprops will provide an additional two seats over their 70-seat -500 predecessors, but a loss of 16 seats when compared with the CRJ-900, which can accommodate up to 88 passengers.
The airline flies from its Tunis/Carthage base to four domestic destinations – Sfax, Djerba, Tozeur and El Borma. Internationally, it connects Tunis with Malta and the Italian cities of Naples, Catania, Palermo, Cagliari, Alghero and Comiso.
Yosr Chouari, Director General of Tunisair Express said: “We have had a long and strong partnership with ATR since the early 1990s, and we are pleased to introduce the modern ATR 72-600 into our fleet thanks to the support of the Tunisian Government and parent company Tunisair. We are sure that our passengers will greatly appreciate the modern, spacious cabin with its widest-in-class seats and the new cutting edge Cabinstream™ technology giving our passengers an exceptional on-board experience.”
ATR CEO, Stefano Bortoli, commented: “The decision of Tunisair Express for three new ATR 72-600s is a further endorsement of our product and validates our policy of continuous development. With a dispatch reliability of 99.7%, its effectiveness in hot conditions, and its performance perfectly suited to the operations envisaged by Tunisair, the ATR is the ideal aircraft to continue supplying essential connectivity throughout Tunisia and beyond its borders.”
The Franco-Italian manufacturer believes there is a demand for “350 new turboprops in Africa and the Middle East over the next 20 years”.