ATR officially presented the first aircraft of its new ‘-600’ series. The aircraft, an ATR 72-600 prototype, fitted with new Pratt & Whitney 127M engines, was unveiled on 01-Oct-2009. Launched in Oct-2007, the new ‘-600’ series will see the development of the ATR 72-600 and the ATR 42-600, with the first commercial aircraft scheduled to enter service in 2011. To date, ATR has recorded orders for 59 aircraft (five ATR 42-600 and 54 ATR 72-600). [more]
ATR presents the first ATR '-600' series aircraft
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LIAT’s woes reflect business conflicts, limited vision, in intra-regional Caribbean aviation
For intra-Caribbean aviation the old adage “the more things change, the more things stay the same” rings true. Unfortunately, the regional airline LIAT is a perfect example of an airline whose financial and operational failures are the epitome of stagnation in a region where outdated government policies constantly squash innovation.
During the past year some of the shareholder governments of the perpetually troubled airline have attempted to initiate tough love for LIAT, including threatening to withhold funds until LIAT can improve its service and operations. In some ways those threats are a double-edged sword – given the challenges of doing business in the region, a business environment largely driven by years of governments propping up state-owned airlines instead of allowing free market forces to take effect.
Although LIAT's shareholder governments would like to see more competition, the reality is that the aviation business in the Caribbean remains in a state of inertia, and all of LIAT's pledges for improvement will likely not materialise until a true mindset change sweeps over the region.