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LIAT signs deal for 3 48-seater aircraft

France-based aviation company ATR and regional airline LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport) have signed an agreement for the purchase of three 48-seater ATR 42-600 aircraft.

The deal also includes options for two 68-seater ATR 72-600, and is valued at over US$100 million.

LIAT will take delivery of its very first ATR 42-600 in June 2013.

With the arrival of these aircraft from ATR, plus additional ATR -600s under discussion from leasing companies, LIAT will progressively replace its current fleet of former turboprop aircraft, ATR said in a statement Wednesday.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 14 aircraft over its Caribbean network, which includes main hubs at Antigua, Barbados and Trinidad, and destinations –among others, in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Marteen, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent.

Commenting on this new contract, Ian Brunton, chief executive officer of LIAT, said: "We are pleased to become a new member of the ATR family and to start operating aircraft which have largely proven their efficiency and performances on the type of routes we propose.  The aircraft of our modern fleet will feature the most advanced cabin interiors and standards of comfort, while being extremely respectful of the environment, a matter of considerable concern to us at LIAT."

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