The Algerian national airline has taken delivery of the first of four ATR 72-500s ordered last year. The aircraft was delivered at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.
Air Algerie, which already operated eight ATR 72-500s, will increase the size of its fleet to 12 with the delivery, during 2010, of the remaining three aircraft on order. Consequently, Air Algerie will become the largest ATR operator on the African continent, ATR said in a statement.
The 66 seat aircraft will enable Air Algerie to propose an optimised service to its passengers, by offering more frequent flights and by opening new routes, in particular to certain regions in the south of the country and to countries in the Mediterranean basin. ATR will also provide its assistance to Air Algerie for the installation, commissioning and operation of a new flight simulator, which is part of the plans of the airline to open a training center for its pilots in Algeria.
Abdelwahid Bouabdallah, President and Managing Director of Air Algerie, says many “years of operation have revealed that the ATR 72-500 is well adapted to the specific features of our domestic network, comprising operations at high temperature. With this addition of four aircraft to our fleet, we will improve and diversify our offer to passengers, within the framework of our public service mission, while maintaining the lowest operating costs”.
He ended his speech by adding: “For Air Algerie, the ATRs are at the base of our development policy, which targets at densifying the domestic network, while opening new routes to zones still isolated. We are also very happy to be able to count on ATR’s knowhow and skills in the support field. This new acquisition is witness to a partnership established over time and which is based on mutual interest”.
“Air Algerie is a model of network development to remote regions, providing high-quality public service and proposing to its passengers aircraft incorporating leading edge technology and the highest level of comfort. We are proud to have Air Algerie as one of our customer airlines and to see that this year they will become the largest operator of our aircraft in Africa”, declared Stephane Mayer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR.
He added: “The Maghreb contributed significantly to the orders received by ATR last year, which proves that it is a dynamic region with great perspectives in regional transportation development. The airlines that have granted or renewed their confidence in us can count on our support to ensure optimal introduction and commissioning of their new aircraft. Our support for the installation of a new flight simulator in Algeria is precisely part of this accompanying process of our customers in the development of their operations”.