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Aviation news: ATR snubs East Africa for now

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Oct 19, 2010

(eTN) - The French aircraft manufacturer ATR has reportedly decided to turn down overtures from Eastern Africa for the establishment of a training base for the African continent. According to reports from Johannesburg, ATR decided to create this facility in South Africa, in spite of several airlines in East Africa like Fly540 and Precision Air flying various ATR models as their workhorse fleet aircraft.

Precision, in fact, just took delivery of their 7th brand new ATR72-500 a few weeks ago with ATR representatives present at the ceremony. There was growing speculation that a pilot training and simulator facility could be established in either Tanzania or Kenya, but alas, that was apparently not to be.

It was learned that the newly-established ATR training center in South Africa will provide courses for all current ATR models of the various ATR42 and ATR72 makes.

No reasons could be ascertained as to what prompted ATR to opt for South Africa, but there is some level of hope left that a full ATR maintenance base with manufacturer support could still be established somewhere in Eastern Africa to spread their presence out a little more, rewar’ their East African customers, and create capacity in this part of Africa, too, along with much in-demand jobs for technicians and engineers in the process.

Aviation news: ATR snubs East Africa for now
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