LONDON – The Dublin-based Irish regional carrier Emerald Airlines, exclusive operator of the Aer Lingus Regional network, has announced the signing of a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) with aircraft manufacturer ATR.
Through this eight year pay-by-the-hour contract, the airline will benefit from the repair, overhaul and pooling services of Line Replaceable Units. The contract also covers propeller availability and maintenance services for the carrier’s entire fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft.
Emitting up to 45% less CO2 than similar-size regional jets, the turboprop ATR 72-600 forms the backbone of Emerald Airlines’ growing fleet, and provides vital connectivity across 18 routes from Dublin and Belfast to the United Kingdom.
These regional air links prove invaluable for local communities who can rely on a quick, modern, and responsible access to essential goods and services, economic and educational opportunities.
Commenting on the maintenance agreement brokered with ATR, Richard Spencer, Director of Engineering and Fleet at Emerald Airlines said:
“We are very pleased to have signed a Global Maintenance Agreement with our partners at ATR. Entering into an agreement and forging a close working relationship with the aircraft manufacturer, will prove to be significantly advantageous in all aspects of our airline.”
“We will no doubt benefit from the team’s vast experience and operational support as we continue to develop Emerald’s network. We look forward to working closely with the team at ATR.”
David Brigante, Senior Vice-President Customer Support and Services at ATR responded, saying:
“An aircraft is only valuable when it is flying. For over 20 years, ATR has been reducing operators’ maintenance costs and increasing time in the air through maintenance and repair”
“This contributes to making regional air transport ever more reliable, accessible and sustainable. We will be supporting Emerald Airlines at every step of its expansion plan, offering our expertise to ensure it can make the most of its ATR fleet.”
The growing regional turboprop market
In an earlier statement this week, manufacturer ATR observed that the regional turboprop market will grow considerably in the next 2 decades. The reasoning for this is explained in a recent AviationSource article.
Several significant purchases of high-end airliners are currently being brokered at Farnborough Airshow by both airlines and leasing companies.
The size of direct orders from airlines themselves, as opposed to finance and leasing companies, perhaps speaks of the level of confidence operators have in the industry, moving beyond the pandemic era.
Beyond this, the news of developments in the turboprop market, and the impacts for regional operators like Emerald Airlines cannot be underestimated.
The regional market is clearly moving out of the lull period, and similarly confidence and general optimism come as a good sign.
Driven by regional demand and factors like cargo and freight movements, the turboprop sector is certainly worth watching in the short-term future.