ATR, which presently has a fleet of 36 in In­dia, is keen on get­ting into main­te­nance, re­pair and over­haul (MRO) and train­ing as the fleet num­bers gain sub­stan­tial trac­tion. A num­ber of 60 plus ATR air­craft in the coun­try makes sense for the com­pany to fur

SP's Airbuz - - Table Of Contents -

SP’s AirBuz (SP’s): How has the In­dia Avi­a­tion 2016 been so far? And what does the In­dian mar­ket look like at this mo­ment? ATR: It has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive. There has been a stream of var­ied vis­i­tors, from prospec­tive buy­ers to pi­lots to stu­dents want­ing to know more about the best-sell­ing tur­bo­props in the world. We are ‘con­vinced’ of the In­dian mar­ket which of­fers us enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties. With the draft Na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Pol­icy giv­ing em­pha­sis on re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, we hope to see a lot more ac­tiv­ity here and are mak­ing pitches ac­cord­ingly. SP’s: What is the cur­rent ATR fleet in In­dia and what do you think it could be by 2020 when it will be among the top three avi­a­tion mar­kets? ATR: As of to­day we have 36 ATRs in In­dia and we ex­pect it to grow fast as two fac­tors are go­ing to drive the up­ward trend – one is you have such a strong do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger growth at 20 per cent and two the gov­ern­ment pol­icy which is fo­cus­ing on re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and MRO. The gov­ern­ment’s plan to de­velop small air­ports across the coun­try will fur­ther drive pas­sen­ger growth and these mar­kets can be best served by a tur­bo­prop. ATR air­craft are com­fort­able, the stan­dard of ser­vice is ex­cel­lent, has lat­est fea­tures in avion­ics and it can land on any type of air­field. It is ideal for op­er­a­tors who are look­ing at smaller routes and routes which have lower yields. The ATR has low fuel burn and is most eco­nom­i­cal to op­er­ate. It gives op­er­a­tors the ad­van­tage of low­est trip cost com­pared to any re­gional jet or other tur­bo­props. SP’s: What is the cur­rent or­der book like? ATR: The back­log across the world is 270 air­craft. This year we will de­liver 95 air­craft and it is steadily climb­ing. It 2014 we de­liv­ered 83 and in 2015 it was 87. We are go­ing to ramp up pro­duc­tion as we ex­pect our world mar­ket share ( for both tur­bo­prop and re­gional jets) to go up from the present 40 per cent. About 30 per cent of the back­log is with the lessors and they do drive the mar­ket. We do fa­cil­i­tate prospec­tive buy­ers with leas­ing so­lu­tions. I would like to men­tion here that Air In­dia has just put out an RFP (re­quest for pro­posal) for 10 small air­craft and we are re­spond­ing to the RFP. SP’s: The In­dian au­thor­i­ties have made it clear to air­framers that if they have to sell in In­dia, they need to look at the pack­age – to set up MRO here; train­ing and sim­u­la­tor fa­cil­ity and fa­cil­i­tate in leas­ing op­tions. Where does ATR stand on these three counts? ATR: We are aware of it and as the fleet size grows in In­dia we will build the struc­tures, both MRO and train­ing. Presently, we have Air Works and GMR sup­port­ing us in MRO and there is the Sin­ga­pore hub too. We are look­ing at fleet size of over 60 to have these sup­port struc­tures in In­dia. SP’s: Could you tell us about some fea­tures of ATR that the op­er­a­tors should look at? ATR: We are con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing our prod­uct. The ATR 600 is one such where a lot of im­prove­ment has gone on re­duc­ing noise lev­els; much larger bag­gage space; slim line pas­sen­ger seat­ing, etc. It is a 78-seat ver­sion giv­ing op­er­a­tors 6 to 8 seats more from the present ver­sion. The first cus­tomer of the air­craft is Cebu of Philip­pines. SP’s: What about the air­craft’s per­for­mance on en­vi­ron­men­tal as­pects? ATR: We have con­sid­er­ably worked on re­duc­ing noise lev­els. It has lower fuel burn than any other tur­bo­prop. The ATR is a ‘green air­craft’. We are work­ing with Pratt & Whit­ney on bio­fuel ap­pli­ca­tions but must tell you that en­vi­ron­men­tally we are one of the safest air­craft in the world.

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