Berjaya Air orders four new aircraft from France
By Lee Yu Tang
Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Corp Bhd, signed a US$74 million (RM253.29 million) contract yesterday with French aircraft manufacturer Avions De Transport Regional (ATR) for four new ATR 72-500 aircraft to replace its existing fleet of 48-seater Dash 7 aircraft.
In a press release yesterday, the new twin prop aircraft, powered by two Pratt and Whitney Canada PW 127F engines, will be delivered in 2009 and 2010, and have a 72-seat configuration equipped with a new "Elegance Cabin" and the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools.
The new ATR aircraft would allow Berjaya Air to expand its reach to other parts of the Asean region and improve its financial performance in terms of lower maintenance cost and increase in seating capacity.
Commenting on the new aircraft, Berjaya Corp chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Vincent Tan said: "These new aircraft will enable Berjaya Air to offer faster and quieter flights to its tourist destinations of Redang Island, Koh Samui and later on to Tioman Island, as well as to increase its passenger capacity and number of flights.
"It will also enable Berjaya Air to operate more economically and therefore lower its air fares."
ATR is seeking to build a long-term strategic partnership with Malaysia, and sees a potential for up to 100 ATR 42/72-500s in the BIMP-EAGA markets (Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines) to serve mostly the rural areas and tourist destinations.
The ATR aircraft have been labelled the most fuel efficient aircraft in their category with its high technology engines, propeller efficiency and high reliability.
As at May 2007, ATR has delivered 331 ATR 72s out of 462 ordered. The ATR aircraft are presently used by, amongst others, American Airlines, British Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air New Zealand, KLM and Air France.
Malacca (Jawi: ملاك; Malay: Melaka), dubbed as The Historical State (Malay: Negeri Bersejarah) or The Hang Tuah State (Malay: Negeri Hang Tuah) is the third smallest state of Malaysia, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the east. The state's capital is Malacca Town.
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