On October 11,2017, Azul Brazilian Airlines has announced the sale of ten ATR 72-600 aircraft to Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) resulting in a total debt reduction of approximately $102 million. By the end of 2017 five aircraft should leave the fleet. The remaining aircraft should leave the fleet in 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, ”  said, Azul’s (AZUL) CEO John Rodgerson in an official statement. “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. ”

The sale of the ten ATRs was already included in Azul’s (AZUL) 2017 and 2018 fleet plan of having 122 and 128 operating aircraft by the end each year. The company expects to grow 11% to 13% in terms of ASKs in 2017.

Chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital Martin Moller said that there is a strong demand for ATR 72-600 aircraft .

“This is not the first time we have purchased and remarketed aircraft from Azul (AZUL) and the response from the new operators of these aircraft has been so positive that we have decided to acquire even more aircraft, ” said Martin Moller in a press release.  “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. ”