Leonardo and Airbus, what Atr will do for the Rex airline

Leonardo and Airbus, what Atr will do for the Rex airline

The memorandum of understanding between Atr (Leonardo and Airbus9 and Rex) aims to expand the Australian airline's existing domestic route network with a mix of Atr 42 and 72-600 aircraft

Atr goes to conquer the Australian market.

Regional Express (Rex), one of Australia's largest regional air operators, and the joint venture between the Italian Leonardo and Airbus have signed a memorandum of understanding. The aim is to cooperate in the study of optimized solutions for the replacement and modernization of the Rex fleet of 43 Saab 340 regional aircraft.

This is not a contract, but Atr has certainly taken a step forward on the Australian market with the key to a possible order for at least 30 aircraft.


The agreement, reads the press release, has the potential to integrate and expand Rex's domestic route network with a mix of ATR 42 and 72-600 aircraft. The two companies will also try to work together to evaluate funding and training options.


The versatile -600 series is an ideal option for route network and expansion of revenue, increasing efficiency and offering operators lower sitting costs. The Atr 72-600 has a 40 percent combustion advantage over a similar sized regional jet. Next to Rex's existing fleet of 30-seat turboprops, the Atr 42-600 represents an opportunity to improve services to remote communities based on essential connectivity, at a lower cost per seat.


"We are delighted to be able to partner with such a large and proven company like Rex," said Fabrice Vautier, vice president of Atr. "The aviation industry is currently facing strong challenges but fruitful partnerships with airlines such as Regional Express, which include the importance of regional connectivity and they also offer valuable information and can allow us to continue developing our product range and strategy to meet the needs of our operators. It is vital that communities and businesses can continue to thrive thanks to regional routes and we believe that the ATR aircraft range provides a sustainable and reliable transportation system to the airlines and regions in which they operate. "


Until now, Atr was present in Australia only through a contract concluded in 2011 with Skywest Airlines. As Air & Cosmos pointed out, "if the memorandum of understanding becomes a contract, it will be the first for the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer on a market shared by Saab in the 30-seater segment and Bombardier in the 50-70-seater segment".


In short, good news for the Italian-French turboprop aircraft manufacturer. The Covid crisis has also overwhelmed Blagnac's company which did not deliver even an aircraft in the first quarter.

In mid-May, Atr announced that it will make a decision regarding the inevitable cuts in production. As CEO Stefano Bortoli told Reuters , Atr saw its deliveries drop by 11% to 68 aircraft last year, down from 76 in 2018.

Bortoli did not want to announce the 2020 targets, but confirmed that ATR will replicate the work of other producers by reducing programmed production after demand has been hit by the pandemic crisis.


The fallout from the coronavirus crisis on Atr (and other manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus) also impacted the parent company Leonardo. As pointed out by the national secretary of Fim Cisl, Michele Zanocco after meeting with the heads of Leonardo's Aerostructures Division in mid-June.

"In the specific case of the Division, all civilian programs will see contractions, albeit diversified, relating to the volumes expected for 2020 – wrote Zanocco – A greater contraction will concern Boeing insisting the latter on long-haul aircraft more affected than medium-range ones Airbus in production on Italian sites. As regards ATR, a significant reduction is expected in the second half of 2020 caused on the one hand by the low price of oil and on the other by customers who are normally excluded from the margins of international government support ".

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/smartcity/leonardo-e-airbus-cosa-fara-atr-per-la-compagnia-aerea-rex/ on Tue, 30 Jun 2020 12:54:26 +0000.