Avianca took (18-Jun-2013) delivery of the first of 15 ATR 72-600s that it commissioned in late 2012, with the signing of a contract which also included options for 15 more aircraft and which was valued at over USD700 million. The aircraft delivered at the Paris Air Show is configured with 68 seats and is equipped with the new 'Armonia' cabin. With the delivery of this aircraft, Avianca begins an ambitious process of developing and modernising its regional network in Colombia and Central America. Avianca CEO Fabio Villegas Ramirez said: "We are very pleased to begin introducing the ATR 72-600 into our regional fleet. These aircraft will enable us to further increase our service standards while operating our regional routes even more efficiently. Their advantages in terms of passenger comfort, as well as their excellent performance on high-altitude runways perfectly match the requirements of our regional network. They will also enable us to increase our seating offer and reduce operating costs”. ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato said: "Latin America has proven to be a very important market for us recently. We have doubled our presence in this region in the last five years, positioning our aircraft as essential tools for the strong growth in regional traffic. We are particularly proud to be associated with Avianca, a company with a great reputation and prestige, and to be able to place reliability, comfort, low operating costs and low environmental footprints of the ATR 72-600 at the service of their growth in region." Avianca will gradually replace the Fokker 50s and ATR 42s currently in service. The first ATR 72-600 will serve destinations including Barrancabermeja, Florencia, Manizales, Neiva, Pasto, Popayán, Tumaco and Yopal in Colombia. Later, other ATR 72-600s will be used to connect Guatemala City and Flores (Guatemala), Tegucigalpa, Roatán and San Pedro Sula (Honduras), San Salvador (El Salvador), Managua (Nicaragua) as well as San José and Liberia (Costa Rica). Alongside with the introduction of the ATR 72-600s, ATR and Avianca are preparing to jointly set up the first ATR-approved pilot training centre in South America, which will open in the coming months at Avianca facilities in Bogota, Colombia. more - original PR]
Avianca takes delivery of its first ATR 72-600
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Overcapacity at Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport has forced the Malaysia Airlines Group to restructure its regional subsidiary Firefly. The airline has cut its fleet and implemented a new reduced schedule in hopes of improving yields and load factors.
Closer integration with Malaysia Airlines is being pursued, resulting in codeshares, frequent flier tie-ups and potentially a rebranding. Firefly remains an important component of the Malaysia Airlines Group, which also has restructured over the last two years, but a smaller operation is required to restore profitability in an extremely challenging marketplace.
The Subang market is relatively limited in size with only six sizeable domestic routes from Subang, all of which are now suffering from overcapacity due to aggressive and rapid expansion from Lion Group's Malaysian affiliate Malindo Air. The irrational dogfight that has emerged between Malindo and Firefly at Subang is a potential precursor of a bigger looming battle at much larger Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) between Malindo and the Malaysia Airlines Group.
Malaysia Airlines subsidiary Firefly reduces ATR fleet as competition with Malindo intensifies
Malaysia Airlines regional subsidiary Firefly has cut its fleet by six aircraft and slashed domestic capacity at its Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport base by approximately 40% as part of a turnaround attempt. Firefly now operates only 12 ATR 72 turboprops, down from 18 aircraft a few months ago.
Firefly has been significantly impacted by extremely aggressive expansion at Lion Group’s Malaysian JV, Malindo Air. Malindo has quickly expanded its Subang operation since it was launched in 2013 and now has 16 ATR 72s, all of which are based at Subang.
Malindo has injected new competition across all of Firefly’s previously exclusive domestic routes from Subang. While Malindo has been able to stimulate some demand, yields have plummeted and load factors are very low.