Aer Arann and regional aircraft manufacturer ATR have confirmed that they have signed a deal to take delivery of 10 new 72 seater ATR72-500 series aircraft over the next three years.
The deal, which is worth over $180m (€140.7), is the single largest aircraft investment by a private Irish passenger airline and the third largest in Irish aviation history. It also represents one of the largest contracts awarded to ATR.
This deal will allow Aer Arann to replace and supplement its existing fleet of 14 ATR42 and ATR72 aircraft bringing it to a fleet of 20 aircraft across its regional network by the end of 2009. T
he airline will take delivery of two aircraft in 2007, five in 2008 and three in 2009.
Commenting on the announcement Padraig O'Ceidigh, managing director, Aer Arann said: "This is a significant milestone for Aer Arann and marks a consolidation of our strategic policy in going forward with an ATR fleet. The ATR 72-500 is playing a major role in the growth of regional carriers, offering great efficiency and reliability to modern operations. This expansion will enable us to develop our network further into the UK and mainland Europe and double the size of the airline over the next three years."