Morocco buys six ATR airliners

Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc has ordered six ATR regional transports for a new regional subsidiary that will be launched towards mid-year.
The Moroccan airline Friday confirmed it was purchasing two ATR 42-600s and four ATR 72-600 and was taking an option for two additional ATR 72-600.
The aircraft will be operated by Royal Air Maroc Express, the new regional subsidiary of the airline created in cooperation with the Moroccan Public Authorities.
The deal was unveiled on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the opening of the route Toulouse-Casablanca by Aeropostale, the French Air Post Service.

The ATR 42-600s and ATR 72-600s, configured with 48 and 70-seats respectively, will be equipped with a new avionics suite featuring the most advanced technologies in navigation aid and communication tools, ATR said in a statement.  

The aircraft will also be equipped with an enhanced cabin in order to offer higher comfort to the passengers. Deliveries of the new aircraft will start in spring 2011. Meanwhile, ATR will lease four ATR 72-200s to Royal Air Maroc in order to support the launch of the new subsidiary carrier.
“We decided to launch a call for tender for new turboprop aircraft and according to the results of our technical, economical and exploitation studies, the ATR ‘-600 series’ have proved to be the right choice,” says Royal Air Maroc president Driss Benhima.
“We are proud of launching our new regional subsidiary, Royal Air Maroc Express, which will count with the support of the Public Authorities in order to provide the country with development tools.
“The airline will also provide new air connectivity to the regions, enabling them to reinforce their appeal and helping them to promote inland tourism. The launch of this new airline also focuses on the ability to offer our fellow citizens new aircraft with appropriate timetables and frequencies, thus contributing to create new development dynamics within our domestic aviation market,” he adds.
“We are very proud of being the first carrier in the Mediterranean region to introduce the new ATR ‘-600 series’ in our fleet and to be able to offer our passengers aircraft featuring the most advanced technologies, both in comfort and performance. The ATR ‘-600 series’, which features the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger, is the ‘greenliner’ aircraft of the regional aviation, and will allow us to contribute to the respect of the environment.”
ATR CEO Stephane Mayer says the “ATR ‘600s’, with their improved performances, especially in hot and high conditions will provide a strong support to the airline when developing its regional network.”