The first ATR 72-600 aircraft was handed over yesterday to Myanmar's domestic carrier Air KBZ. The Danish finance and leasing company Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) is providing financing for the transaction.
The official ceremony which took place at the ATR Delivery Center in Toulouse, France, was attended by senior management from Air KBZ, NAC, and ATR.
NAC has also entered into an agreement with Air KBZ for a second ATR 72-600 aircraft to be delivered in June this year. Air KBZ already operates four ATR 72-500s in Myanmar. Air KBZ is keen to further develop its regional network, adding new routes and frequencies to its domestic and regional markets. This fleet expansion will offer the greatest benefits to airline's economic performance in the long run due to the fuel-efficient performance and superior comfort standards of the ATR 72-600 aircraft.
These new generation ATRs feature a high comfort layout seating 68 passengers. The spacious and ergonomically designed Armonia cabin offers its passengers new light and slim seats with improved life space, LED mood lighting and wider overhead bins
“We are pleased to welcome the new ATR 72-600 to our already existing young fleet in line with our continued mission to develop and provide superior air transport services that will exceed customer expectations. The ATR -600 series aircraft's superior operating economics and low fuel consumption, advanced engineering design, low emissions levels and excellent passenger comfort ideally meet our requirement for 70-seat aircraft. The acquisition of these 2 new aircraft via Nordic Aviation Capital is integral to our network expansion from our regional hubs,” added Air KBZ Deputy Managing Director, Mr Khin Maung Myint.
Mats Ericson, NAC Head of Sales for Asia, said “We are delighted to open a new market in Myanmar and to be part of the growth of Air KBZ's regional network. Myanmar is new emerging market which is quickly becoming an important business center in the South East Asian region and we believe Air KBZ is perfectly placed there. The level of cooperation we have achieved with the airline has been excellent from the outset and we look forward to doing more business together in the future. We are proud to add the Air KBZ name to our long list of satisfied customers.”
“ATR is pleased to celebrate this important moment with Air KBZ and happy to keep on contributing to the growth of this prestigious Asian carrier”, commented ATR's Chief Executive Officer, Filippo Bagnato. “The new ATR -600s have become very popular in Asia. We expect that the many advantages of these aircraft, especially the low operating costs and excellent performance, will contribute to further expand regional air traffic in Myanmar, a country that is poised for considerable growth and where ATR is already recognized as the preferred regional transport aircraft.”“Also, we are extremely proud to benefit from the recognition of such a reputed lessor as NAC and we aim to continue increasing this co-operation.” This proves the excellent potential for the ATR -600s – not only here in Asia where there is strong growth, but also with airlines around the world.