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Azul optimizes fleet and reduces total debt by R$325 million
Airline to replace part of its ATR fleet with next-generation aircraft
São Paulo, October 11, 2017 - Azul S.A. (B3: AZUL4, NYSE:AZUL) announces today the sale of ten ATR 72-600 aircraft to Nordic Aviation Capital ("NAC") resulting in a total debt reduction of approximately R$ 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.
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