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ATR Scours U.S Regional Airlines for an ATR 72-600 Buyer

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ATR 72-600

French/Italian aircraft maker ATR is in an unusual position with the ATR 72-600. It has made a good airplane and sold hundreds of them around the world, but it hasn't sold a single one in the U.S. and despite a continuing eight-city U.S. demonstration tour it isn't close to selling one.

On Tuesday, ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac told reporters at the Regional Airline Association conference in Charlotte that in recent years a configuration with a rear exit has kept the company from trying to sell the aircraft in the U.S. Now ATR said it would adopt whatever configuration buyers prefer.

"For many years, we didn't do the front door, which is a key requirement here," he said. Additionally, he said, "If you sell all your productions, why both going to the U.S? We know it's difficult here.

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"But we need to be here," he said.

Last month, Delta (DAL - Get Report) said it would order 75 CS100 aircraft, which like the ATR 72-600 had never been sold in the U.S. The announcement vastly improved the image of the CS100, and it was hard to resist the conclusion...


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