Romania’s flag carrier TAROM today signed a firm order to take on three ATR-72-600s. The Otopeni, Ilfov County-headquartered airline is putting its faith in the turboprop as the company modernizes its fleet.
A new look
The news of this order was confirmed at the Dubai Airshow. As part of the announcement, it was revealed that TAROM will scale its ATR 42-500 units to the larger 72-seat ATR 72-600 model. Presently, the airline holds seven ATR 42-500s, two ATR 72-500s, and four ATR 72-600s.
The airline has been going through a robust fleet renewal program over the last few years. In April, it announced that it is looking to sell numerous aircraft, including all of its four Airbus A318 aircraft. The carrier also retired its last 737-300 units from service earlier this week.
In this next chapter, the ATR will be an even more prominent member of TAROM’s fleet. ATR promotes the 72 as “the most fuel-efficient aircraft on the market,” helped by its ability to burn 40% less fuel than a regional jet.
The right fit
TAROM’s ATR 72s have been spotted at the likes of Bucharest, Chisinau, Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Baia Mare, Suceava, and Satu Mare in recent weeks. The airline is keen to scale up usage with the plane.
“Having been an ATR pilot, I have witnessed first-hand, the importance of the connectivity that they provide. They are an essential link to communities all over Romania. As a CEO, I also see the value of their efficiency and flexibility,” TAROM CEO Catalin Prunariu shared in a statement.
“When we began to modernise our fleet, it made perfect sense to choose the ATR and as this mission continues while the world looks to recover from the challenging backdrop of the global pandemic, airlines need to have the most efficient aircraft possible. We are sure that ATR is the right choice; now and for the future.”
ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli added that TAROM’s faith in his company amid its fleet modernization displays how vital turboprops are for regional operations. The new planes will allow the airline to provide additional routes and seats across its network. In turn, communities will be better connected.
An attractive solution
It’s not only TAROM that signed a firm order for the ATR 72-600 today. Binter Canarias also ordered four units for its fleet. The Canary Islands-based carrier values the aircraft for its specialism in regional air connectivity.
Overall, with yearly savings on operating cost per aircraft of up to $1 million to be had, it’s no surprise that regional outfits are turning to the ATR 72-600 for their services. The plane’s light structure and optimized speed work well together in the short-haul sector, a market segment that has been revitalized in this post-pandemic climate.
What are your thoughts about TAROM taking on three ATR 72-600 turboprops? Do you feel that this is a good move for the airline? Let us know what you think of the overall order in the comment section.