SAO PAULO, Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Azul (B3: AZUL4, NYSE:AZUL) announces today the sale of ten ATR 72-600 aircraft to Nordic Aviation Capital ("NAC") resulting in a total debt reduction of approximately R$ 325 million. Five aircraft are expected to leave the fleet by the end of 2017 and the remaining aircraft are expected to leave the fleet early 2018. The sale agreement with NAC also includes the delivery of three new ATR 72-600 aircraft under operating leases in 2017.
"We will continue to deploy ATRs to explore new markets and to fly shorter regional routes, however, as we expand our network over the next few years, it is only natural that we replace smaller aircraft with larger next generation aircraft. In line with our fleet strategy of having the right type of aircraft for the markets we serve, we have identified several markets that are ready to be upgraded to larger aircraft" said John Rodgerson, Azul's CEO.
"We are delighted to have completed this transaction with such a valued customer like Azul,' said Martin Moller, Chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital. We see strong demand for ATR 72-600 aircraft both now, and in the future, so we are taking the opportunity to acquire a large number of top quality aircraft from Azul. This is not the first time we have purchased and remarketed aircraft from Azul and the response from the new operators of these aircraft has been so positive that we have decided to acquire even more aircraft. We are already talking to several parties about these aircraft, so we expect that we will find a new home for the aircraft very quickly."
The sale of the ten ATRs was already included in Azul's 2017 and 2018 fleet plan of having 122 and 128 operating aircraft by the end each year, respectively. In addition, the company expects to grow 11% to 13% in terms of ASKs in 2017.
Azul (B3: AZUL4, NYSE: AZUL), the largest airline in Brazil by number of cities served, offers 755 daily flights to 104 destinations. With a fleet of 118 aircraft and more than 10,000 crewmembers, the company has a network of 197 non-stop routes as of September 30, 2017. Among other awards, Azul was named third best airline in the world by TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice in 2017, best low cost carrier in South America for the seventh consecutive time by Skytrax in 2017, and the world's most on-time low-cost airline in 2015 by the Official Airline Guide (OAG). For more information visit www.voeazul.com.br/ir.
NAC is the industry's leading regional aircraft lessor serving over 70 airline customers in 49 countries. The company provides aircraft to well-established carriers such as Azul, Aeromexico, Air Canada, British Airways, LOT, Garuda, Flybe, HOP!, air Baltic and Olympic Air as well as major regional carriers including Air Nostrum, Widerøe, Binter and Air KBZ. NAC's current fleet of over 400 owned and managed aircraft includes ATR 42, ATR 72, Bombardier Dash 8, CRJ900, CRJ1000, CS300, E170, E175, E190 and E195. In addition, the group has circa 50 aircraft on firm order. NAC is the largest owner and lessor of both ATR and Bombardier aircraft in the world.
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SOURCE Azul S.A.