expects to announce record order intake at the Paris air show next week, driving full year order intake close to $2 billion.
The previous high in 2007 was 53 orders booked from January through the Paris air show, but CEO Filippo Bagnato, ATR’s CEO says “we will go well beyond the 53 airplanes, well beyond.”
The air show figure should allow the backlog to swell to more than 200 airplanes, equivalent to $5 billion or around three years even as output is increasing. Bagnato adds that some orders already on the horizon will emerge only after the air show.
The order intake could reach a book-to-bill ratio of around 2-to-1, with deliveries this year planned at around 53 units and orders likely to top the 75-80 units ATR forecast in January. Bagnato has held off on increasing production this year because of the fielding of the new model, the -600. Also boosting output at the same time was deemed to risky.
But output next year should reach at least 70 units with further increases seen for 2013 and 2014. Details of those plans are now being worked out and will be contingent on an analysis of the supply chain. Delivery slots of 2011 are all taken, with slots still available next year.
The exact order level expected at Le Bourget is not being disclosed. One important deal, however, will be a contract for an undisclosed North American customer. ATR has long been trying to re-enter the North American market, and rising fuel prices are seen as causing a shift in mindset among airlines away from regional jets and toward turboprops.
Other potential orders will come from airlines in the Latin America market and Brazil. In Brazil, the company has an installed base of 50 aircraft and, Bagnato says, deals signed and now in negotiation could double that figure “very soon.”
Furthermore, Bagnato expects 50-55% of the orders to be booked will be for new customers. The/ joint venture turboprop maker currently has 175 operators, up 30 operators from 2009 levels.
ATR has already seen strong order intake this year, with Lion Air committing to 15 aircraft and Skywest buying eight airplanes (with five on option) and opening the door for the turboprop market to the Australian market.
The long-term outlook is also positive, Bagnato says, with 3,000-3,100 aircraft to be sold in the next two decades.
Meanwhile, ATR is preparing for Royal Air Maroc to begin operations with the-600, the recently certified latest model of the turboprop featuring new avionics and enhanced powerplants. The aircraft will be displayed at the Paris air show and then delivered to the airline. The 42-600 should be certified before year end. ATR has sold around 150 -600s so far. Production will likely shift to all -600s in 2013, although a few -500s could still be delivered.