Regional airline LIAT and aircraft manufacturer ATR have announced they have signed an agreement for the purchase, by the carrier, of three 48-seat ATR-42-600s.
The deal also includes options for two 68-seat ATR 72-600, and is valued at over US$ 100 million.
The first new aircraft will be delivered to LIAT in June this year.
For some time now, the majority shareholders of LIAT have been thinking of expanding the airline’s aging fleet and in July 2012, at a meeting in Barbados, they decided which aircraft type will be used.
Despite the decision the airline remained tight-lipped on the type and manufacturer of the new aircrafts.
Thursday’s announcement is the first time manufacturer is being made public.
“With the arrival of these aircraft from ATR, plus additional ATR -600s under discussion from leasing companies, LIAT will progressively replace its current fleet of former turboprop aircraft,” both companies said in a release on Thursday.
Commenting on the deal Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Ian Brunton, said the airline is pleased to be part of the ATR family which he said has proven to be efficient in performance “on the type of routes we propose.”
“The aircraft of our modern fleet will feature the most advanced cabin interiors and standards of comfort, while being extremely respectful of the environment, a matter of considerable concern to us at LIAT,” Brunton stated.
ATR is based in Toulouse, France.
Specifications of the ATR 42-600:
-Passenger capacity: 46 to 50 seats
-Engines: Pratt & Whitney 127M
-Maximum take-off power: 2400 horsepower per engine
-Maximum take-off weight: 18,600 kg
-Maximum load: 5,500 kg
-Maximum flight range when fully loaded: 800 nautical miles (1,483 km)