Air Deccan receives first ATR plane

Himalayan News Service

London, June 15:

Air Deccan, the low-cost Indian airline, took delivery of its first new ATR 72-500 aircraft at the Paris Air Show today.

The 72-seat plane is the first of 30 that Air Deccan is buying from Toulouse-based Avions de Transport Régional - the world leader in the 50 to 70-seat turboprop market. Taking delivery of the aircraft, Air Deccan managing director Capt G R Gopinath confirmed an order announced in January for six second-hand ATR aircraft, ATR said in a press release.

Gopinath said the new aircraft would help his Bangalore-based airline meet increases in traffic and to “carry on with our plan to connect all main Indian cities to the major metropolitan centres at a very low fare”.

ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato said, “With the ATR 72-500 fleet, Air Deccan will operate aircraft that are ideally suited to satisfy the Indian market needs.” ATR aircraft are well adapted for feeder routes in India and can access airports that are unsuitable for jets. They are also known to be the most economical in their class.

The French firm currently holds a market share in India of 60 per cent in the 20 to 90-seat market and 73 per cent in the turboprop sector.