Caribbean carrier takes  delivery of third ATR this week
August 20, 2013

Caribbean carrier takes delivery of third ATR this week

LIAT expects to take delivery of its third new ATR 72 from the France-based manufacturer later this week.{{more}}

Additionally, one of the two newly acquired ATR aircraft which had been grounded in Barbados for about a week due to a technical issue, is now back in service, as the technical issue has now been resolved, a release from the regional airline said.

“Nothing is more important to us than the security and safety of our passengers,” said Ian Brunton, LIAT’s chief executive officer (CEO).

The ATR 72, a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional aircraft, is one of two such planes recently acquired by the company in its fleet modernisation programme.

“Unfortunately, in the aviation business aircraft, both old and new, experience technical issues from time to time, but safety is our major concern and we apologise that our passengers were inconvenienced, especially during the peak summer season,” Brunton added.

Reiterating LIAT’s safety focus required immediate action on maintenance concerns, the CEO reported: “The new parts that were needed have arrived and been installed in Barbados – our Maintenance Team has given the aircraft the thumbs up.”

The ATR-600 brings new operational capability to the ATR family through outstanding performance at take-off on short runways, increased max payload, reduced maintenance costs, redesigned cabin, and latest avionics technology, the release said.

To improve passenger comfort and operational efficiency, LIAT is replacing all of its Dash 8 aircraft with the ATR aircraft.

According to the release, the re-fleeting programme is expected to be completed next year and will see the ageing fleet of Dash 8 aircraft being replaced with 12 brand new ATR-600 series aircraft.

The new fleet will include a mixture of 68- and 48-seaters.

By the first quarter of 2014, more than half of the new ATRs are expected to be operating throughout LIAT’s network, with the remaining airplanes expected to come on line by the end of 2014.