TAG Airlines Signs 5-Year Lease Agreement For Four ATR 72-500 Planes

Willis Lease Finance Corporation and Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG Airlines) announced that they entered into lease agreements for four ATR 72-500 aircraft today. TAG has been launching new routes across Central America in the last few months, so these new planes will help the airline develop its plans. Let’s investigate further.

New planes for TAG

TAG Airlines is a Guatemalan carrier that currently has a fleet of nine aircraft, including eight Saab 340. It mainly operates routes from Guatemala to Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.

On Wednesday, the airline and Willis Lease Finance Corporation announced a partnership to lease four ATR 72-500 aircraft, powered with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines, for the next five years. The leasing company will deliver these aircraft within the current semester.

Austin C. Willis, the future Chief Executive Officer of the company, effective on April 1, said,

“Over the past two years, our regional and specialty assets group has focused on growth through opportunistic procurement rather than traditional sale and leasebacks. This has enabled us to provide quality aircraft and engines at attractive rates to our customers. We purchased these aircraft in late 2021, and we are delighted to have signed these leases with TAG.”

TAG Airlines

TAG Airlines and Willis Lease announced a lease contract for four ATR 72-500. Photo: TAG Airlines.

ATR configuration

The fleet of TAG Airlines is currently composed of nine aircraft. According to ch-aviation, the airline has one Embraer 145LR and eight Saab 340, with an average age of 29.9 years. The Embraer has a capacity for 50 passengers, while the Saabs can carry up to 34 passengers.

Getting the new ATR 72-500 will upgauge TAG Airlines’ capacity, as they can carry up to 74 passengers in a spacious two by two seating configuration.

“We will be adding four ATRs 72-500 to our fleet this year, which will further contribute to the connectivity of Central America, southern Mexico, and the Mayan World,” said TAG Airlines’ CEO, Julio Gamero.

He added that these four aircraft will represent the airline’s flight into the future. The interiors of the ATR 72-500s are new; the engines are new, and the airframes have been completely overhauled, basically stripped to bare metal to receive the new TAG livery.

TAG Airlines

TAG Airlines has a fleet that includes eight Saab 340 aircraft. Photo: TAG Airlines.

The rise of TAG Airlines

TAG Airlines has been actively launching new routes in the last few months, particularly to Mexico. According to Cirium, the carrier will operate 663 flights in April 2022. TAG Airlines will fly from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala (GUA) to eight destinations and from Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS), near Tikal, to one international destination. Compared to 2019, TAG Airlines has added 19% more flights and nearly 60% more seats while also launching four new routes.

From Guatemala, TAG Airlines flies to Cancun, Oaxaca, and Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Mexico; to Belize, San Salvador, and San Pedro Sula in Central America and the domestic routes to Flores/Tikal and Puerto Barrios. From FRS, the airline travels to Cancun.

TAG Airlines started flying in 1961. It was the pioneer company of civil aviation in Guatemala.

Would you be interested in flying with TAG Airlines? Which route and aircraft do you find the most appealing? Let us know in the comments below.

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