Turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR is eyeing further aftermarket expansion across the Americas after signing three contracts covering regional airlines with maintenance services.
The first of the three Global Maintenance Agreements (GMA) is an extended deal with Colombia’s Avianca, providing 15 ATR 72-600s operated under different brands of the airline group in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras.
The new contract will include propeller repair work, which will be carried out by Illinois-headquartered Aircraft Propeller Service (APS), a specialist propeller center which has been an ATR GMA partner for a little more than one year.
In the past two years, APS has opened MRO facilities in Sao Paulo and Kuala Lumpur to do UTC Aerospace Systems-manufactured propeller repairs in two key regions for ATR aircraft operators. It will also provide Avianca technicians with propeller repair training under the terms of the agreement.
“We are continuing to develop opportunities with APS,” says Laurent Besombes, ATR’s vice president of direct procurement, of its U.S. partner. “ATR is drawing on their capabilities in the U.S. and Asia, and will look to work with them on projects at their Brazil facility.”
The second GMA renewal is with Avianca’s fellow Colombian airline EasyFly for a period of five years, covering its fleet of five ATRs. The contract includes services for lease stock, standard exchange, line replaceable unit repairs and propeller maintenance and parts availability. In addition, the two parties have also signed a deal for lease and overhaul services of two of the ATR’s landing gears.
Completing the agreements is one with Trinidad and Tobago’s national flag carrier Caribbean Airlines. The new contract furthers a cooperation dating back to 2011. It encompasses a lease and overhaul servicing agreement for landing gears on its fleet of ATR 72-600s.
Following the agreements, Besombes says along with the Americas region, where ATR has a customer service center in Miami, it also sees potential for expansion in Asia-Pacific, particularly in a location such as Singapore. “The aftermarket is part of our DNA and is really key for us,” he says.
Tiziana Masullo, ATR’s services sales and contracts director, adds: “Apart from our strengths in component repair, we are working with partners on a local level to develop shops in the U.S. and this will continue to be important to us.”