Photo © Yvan Panas
The first delivery of an ATR was way back on 3 December 1985 to Air Littoral. The program kicked of fairly well its first 10 years, but went through a deep slump between 2002-2005 due to 9-11 and the regional jet madness, to the point that its total termination was officially considered in 2003. Fortunately that didn't happen, and ATR came back even stronger than before after 2006, in parallel with rising fuel prices. Today ATR is posting one record year after the other, with 157 firm orders and 54 deliveries in 2011, and a 224 aircraft in backlog at the end of the year. ATR plans to deliver over 70 aircraft in 2012 and to increase its deliveries to a minimum of 80 units as of 2013.
Last year, ATR successfully introduced the latest upgrade of its aircraft, the -600 series.
For the not too far future (2016ish), plans of an all-new 90ish seater have been repeatedly talked about, with an official launch seemingly pending mainly on what TP engines PW/GE may be able to develop.
Congratulations to ATR on this incredible milestone, and on entering the exclusive 1000-aircraft club !
(No press release from ATR so I guess it's not officially delivered yet; I assume there should also be some kind of ceremony planned.)