by WILLIAM DENNIS and GREGORY POLEK
Indonesia’s national airline Garuda Indonesia today officially celebrated the first take-off of its very first ATR 72-600. The aircraft took to the sky from Denpasar (Bali) at 08.00 am (local time) in the presence of the management teams of the airline and ATR. Throughout this inaugural day the aircraft landed at the airports of Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara province) and Bima (West Nusa Tenggara province), where it has been welcomed and visited by local authorities and media. Today’s celebration follows the announcement earlier this year of the introduction of 25 firm ATR 72-600s, plus 10 options, into the fleet of the airline, in a joint agreement between the airline, ATR and the Danish leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital. The airline’s regular scheduled operations with these new ATRs will start on December 3rd, with flights scheduled from Bali to Labuan Bajo and Ende, and from Bali to Bima and Mataram.
This ATR 72-600 is equipped with the new ‘Armonia’ cabin, specially designed for ATR by the Italian designer Giugiaro, featuring the most advanced standards of comfort and technologies. The ATR 72-600, -which burns up to 50% less fuel than other equivalent-sized regional aircraft and which has operating costs well below those of its competitors-, has clearly become the reference for regional transportation in South East Asia. ATR has received orders for more than 170 ATR 72s, -mostly ‘-600s’- from ASEAN carriers since 2005. This represents almost all the sales for regional aircraft below 90-seats in the region during this period.
In order to optimize the operation of this new fleet of 25 ATR 72-600s, Garuda Indonesia and ATR have recently signed a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) extending over ten years and covering the 25 aircraft fleet. Based on this agreement, ATR will handle –from its Customer Support Center in Singapore-, the management of the maintenance activities of Garuda Indonesia’s ATR fleet, while ensuring the availability of key spare parts, such as propellers and fuel nozzles.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “ATR warmly congratulates Garuda Indonesia as they welcome the latest edition to their fleet, the ATR 72-600. We believe this modern turboprop will be an integral part of their ongoing business transformation and expansion program, while also showcasing their commitment to the advancement of the national connectivity.“
About the ATR 72-600:
Passenger capacity: 68 to 74 seats
Engines: Pratt & Whitney 127M
Maximum take-off power: 2,750 horsepower per engine
Maximum take-off weight: 23,000 kg
Maximum load: 7,500 kg
Maximum flight range when fully loaded: 900 nautical miles (1,665 km)