The signature of this new contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding announced by the airline in December 2012. With today's signature, Malaysia Airlines brings to 42 the total of firm ATR 72s purchased since the initial purchase agreement in 2007. Malaysia Airlines currently has 22 ATR 72-500s, operated by booming business units Firefly (12) and MASwings (10). The introduction of these aircraft, which are the first ATR -600s to be selected for the growing Malaysian and regional market, will reinforce Firefly's and MASwings position on community markets and business routes and confirms Malaysia Airlines as a major operator of ATRs in Asia. Deliveries will start by mid 2013.
The arrival of these new ATR72-600s will enable Malaysia Airlines to further expand its regional offer, adding new routes and frequencies to its global network. The new ATR 72-600 delivers the latest innovations in terms of passenger comfort, with the award-winning Armonia cabin designed by Giugiaro and equipped with new slim line seats, larger overhead bins and appealing LED lighting.
Besides the 22 ATR 72-500s operated by Firefly and MASwings, Malaysia Airlines also has a fleet of over 100 medium and long-haul A330s, A380s, B737s, B747s and B777s.
Malaysia Airlines has just become a member of oneworld alliance, and operates flights to Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East, Europe and the US West coast.
Commenting on the deal, Ahmad Jauhari, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, declared: “We have been partnering with ATR for the last five years, and we are really satisfied with the outstanding performance and the commercial results that our ATR 72s provide to our growing community networks. The ATR aircraft are clearly playing an important role in the development of Malaysia Airlines, as they connect regional destinations and enable us to feed larger aircraft at our main hubs. The new aircraft will further improve the guest experience on our community airlines as they connect more and more people across Malaysia and the surrounding regions”.
Ignatius Ong, Chief Executive Officer of Firefly, declared: “Our exclusive ATR 72 fleet has allowed Firefly to develop a unique high frequency network out of Subang, Penang and Johor Baruh, which greatly benefits our Malaysian communities, as well as the rest of the population in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT)”.
Captain Dato' Nawawi Awang, Chief Executive Officer of MASwings, said: “We are glad that MASwings' fleet of ATR 72s can efficiently serve the Sabah and Sarawak (East Malaysian states), and the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) communities and help to further enhance the tourism industry and the socio-economic development of the region”.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, declared: “Malaysia Airlines is a really prestigious partner for ATR in Asia. We are honoured with the renewal of their confidence and we are pleased to further develop our relationship with the introduction of the many advantages of the ATR 72-600, our newest product. ATR aircraft are unrivalled in terms passenger comfort and environmental friendliness. We are delighted to be an active part of Malaysia Airlines' development of the regional connectivity in Eastern and Western Malaysia. We are also very pleased to welcome Malaysia Airlines as one of our first operators to use our recently open Training Center for ATR -600 series aircraft in Singapore”.
About the ATR 72-600:
- Passenger capacity: 68-74 seats
- Engines: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M
- Maximum power at take-off: 2,750 horse power per engine
- Maximum weight at take-off: 23,000 Kg
- Maximum load: 7,500 Kg
- Maximum range with full passenger load: 900 nautical miles (1,665 Km)
About Malaysia Airlines:
Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier of Malaysia, was founded in 1947 and is today recognized as one of Asia's largest, flying more than 17 million passengers in 2011 as a Group, together with subsidiary airlines Firefly and MASwings, to some 100 destinations worldwide.
Malaysia Airlines describes its distinctive premium carrier brand as an extension of the special culture of warmth and friendliness unique to Malaysians. This inimitable Malaysian sense of graciousness is branded as “Malaysian Hospitality” and symbolized by the acronym MH, which is also the airline's flight code.
Both Malaysia Airlines and its Kuala Lumpur hub are among the industry's most frequent winners of awards for quality service. Malaysia Airlines itself has won the World's best Cabin Staff title from the UK based Skytrax airline quality rating agency in seven of the past 11 years.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold over 1,200 aircraft, and has today 182 operators based in 90 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. Its head office is in Toulouse (France). ATR is ISO 14001-certified, the international reference standard in the field for environmental friendliness.