ATR and the Saudi Arabian Private operator Alpha Star Aviation Services have announced the signature of 2 ATR 72-600s, of which one is firm and one optional. The aircraft will join its smaller stablemate, an ATR 42-600, already successfully operating at the company since end 2012. Its entry into service made Alpha Star the very first operator of the ATR-600 series in the Middle East. With the addition of the new generation 70-seaters to its fleet, the company becomes the first operator in the region to fly the modern and comfortable ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Together with the profitable operations with the 42-600, the acquisition of these new planes is part of the Alpha Star’s initiative to meet the growing demand in the private aviation sector and capitalize on the high market potential created. The first ATR 72-600 will be delivered in September 2014.

Alpha Star has chosen a high comfort layout for its ATR 72-600s seating 66 passengers. On the performance side, the first experience with the ATR-600 series aircraft in a harsh environment conditions coupled with the ability to operate from paved and unpaved runways in the region proved that the aircraft is ideally suited for operations even in the challenging Middle Eastern regions.

“Given the intense market dynamics with a multitude of business opportunities in the region, Alpha Star to date needs more of the reliable, comfortable and high-performance aircraft such as ATR 72-600 to better satisfy the rising demand in private transport”, said Salim Al Muzaini, Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Star. “Besides, the ATR turboprops perform impeccably in a challenging environment which is extremely important to our operations. We also highly value aircraft quick turnarounds and unique capability to serve company’s operational needs.”

“The ATR 72-600 is a versatile aircraft with solid economic and performance credentials. I am sure it will fit perfectly Alpha Star’s expectations and growth ambitions in the region,” commented Filippo Bagnato, ATR Chief Executive Officer.  “This versatility opens up many new possibilities and options for Alpha Star’s passengers who will now benefit from available service while taking advantage of comfort.”