Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MAS buying 36 new turboprop plans worth RM3bil from ATR

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is expanding its fleet of turboprop aircraft with the purchase of 36 new ATR 72-600 aircraft worth RM3bil.

MAS and ATR, the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer inked an MoU on Tuesday for the purchase of the planes.

Of the 36 ordered, Firefly will take on 20 new aircraft whilst 16 will be inducted into the fleet of its sister company MASwings.

This significant deal which is part of the expansion plans for Firefly and MASWings, both units of Malaysia Airlines, was signed by the group CEO of MAS, Ahmad JauhariYahya and Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR.

Firefly CEO, Ignatius Ong said the brand new series of fleet would have state-of-the art innovations with the latest glass cockpit technology similar to the A380 panels while the cabin was designed without compromising passenger comfort.

Currently Firefly operates with 12 ATR 72-500 while MASwings operates 10 similar aircraft.
The additional enhanced series of ATR 72-600s, is expected to arrive gradually from the end of the second quarter next year to complement the demand of Firefly's services and support the network expansion plans of MASwings.

MASwings, which is Malaysia's first commuter airline, focuses on Sarawak and Sabah and provides connections within the two states.

Firefly operates out of the Penang and Subang hubs and flies to various points within Malaysia, Southern Thailand, Singapore and Sumatera.

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