Dubai Airshow, November 16, 2021 – ATR finalises the sale of three ATR 72-600 aircraft to Central African airline Afrijet who will use the aircraft to replace part of its ATR 72-500 fleet. From the second aircraft onwards, these ATR 72-600 will be equipped with the latest generation P&WC engine, the PW127XT-M, which delivers increased efficiency and burns less fuel. The deal is further proof of the ATR’s effectiveness at growing regional routes and networks, thanks to its cost-effective operations. Afrijet initially started with pre-owned ATR aircraft and then moved to a leased ATR 72-600 in 2020. This direct acquisition of brand new aircraft will increase the -600 fleet size to four ATR 72-600, allowing the opening of new routes and increasing frequency.
Afrijet CEO, Mark Gaffajoli, remarked: “To be effective in Africa an aircraft has to be cost-efficient, reliable and operationally versatile. We need these new ATR aircraft, as creating connectivity in the Gulf of Guinea is vital for the boom in trade and community intergration in the CEMAC zone. As an operator in Equatorial Africa, home of the second largest forest in the world, we are proud to be preparing to invest in a device with a low carbon footprint and a controlled and predictable ecological impact.”
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR, said: “Afrijet continues to trust ATR with its business and we are always proud to see an airline move from a legacy ATR fleet, to introducing the latest generation aircraft and then ultimately purchasing a new fleet. Being in the position to do this during such challenging times really shows that Afrijet has an excellent strategy and business model that they are delivering very well. It also shows that the ATR is the perfect aircraft with which to deliver regional connectivity in Africa.”
In an interview with Afrijet CEO, Mark Gaffajoli on the post-COVID come back, he underlined that you have to work first on your strength. We are not going to reinvent the world, so even this project of the new aircraft acquisition is going to be linked to the existing market.
This project has shown that this can be profitable and i think that with the ATR 72-600 it will even be more profitable, continued Mr Gaffajoli.
According to Gaffajoli on the question about challenges with exploiting the african airspace, there is a difference between what the African states are signing and what they actually implement in real, The difficulty is that between the political visions of the african leaders and sometimes the bureaucracy of a process, there is a significant gap, and the only way to stop this and give it a proper acceleration is to do like Europe does:End of their border and consider the african skies as belonging to one country.
Afrijet Business Service is a Gabonese airline operating scheduled service to a number of airports throughout Cameroun,Gabon, and Sao Tomé.It was founded in 2004 by a group of private investors, initially flying private charters using Falcon 900 aircraft. In 2016, Afrijet commenced scheduled domestic flights throughout Gabon, and have since expanded to neighboring countries.