US-Bangla Airlines To Add Two ATR 72-600s
SINGAPORE—Bangladesh’s US-Bangla Airlines has leased two ATR 72-600s from Singapore-based lessor Avation PLC.
Deliveries for the two aircraft are expected before June 2020, bringing the airline’s ATR 72-600 fleet from six to eight.
The lease announcement also means that Avation will convert two purchase rights into firm orders and acquire another two ATR 72-600s on option, keeping the total ATR options at 25.
Avation executive chairman Jeff Chatfield said that while risks in maintaining an option for 25 aircraft are present but minimal, doing so allows customers to quickly receive their aircraft. Further, there are a large number for ATR operators in the Asia-Pacific, so getting orders will not be difficult.
“Regional connectivity is essential in Bangladesh and the region,” US-Bangla Airlines MD Mohamed Abdullah Al Mamun said in a statement. “We have received very good feedback from passengers and are satisfied with the reliability and comfort of the aircraft.”
According to Aviation Week Fleet Data Services, the Dhaka-based airline also has four Boeing 737-800s and three de Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s in its fleet. There are about 470 ATR family aircraft in Asia-Pacific, mostly in Indonesia and India.
The introduction of services industries including micro-computing has spurred Bangladesh’s economy, with a forecasted GDP growth of 8% in 2020. Because of growing affluence and increased investments, more passengers are flying regionally; ATR said most of US-Bangla’s flights are around an 85% load factor. The turboprop aircraft manufacturer added that a 10% increase in regional flights would lead to a 6% improvement in the regional GDP, as well as an 8% increase in foreign direct investment.