Turboprop manufacturer ATR has signed a deal with GIG Aviation, a subsidiary of Lagos, Nigeria-based GIG Group, for two ATR 72-500 freighters from its asset management portfolio.

"The ATR 72-500s will initiate GIG Aviation's journey as a freighter airline. The ATR freighters will help GIG Logistics expand its network in Africa to meet the rapid growth of e-commerce in the country and strengthen the connections between communities from the different regions and subregions. With its superior economics and versatility, burning 40 percent less fuel and emitting 40 percent less CO2 than a similar-sized regional jet, ATR is the perfect fit for economical and sustainable expansion," according to an official statement from ATR.

Adetoro Fowoshere, Chief Executive Officer, GIG Aviation, says: "The acquisition of two ATR 72-500 freighters demonstrates our commitment to provide high standards of delivery services to communities of Africa and Nigeria. We are expanding rapidly through local branches, notably in Nigeria, and the entry into service of these aircraft will be significant in allowing us to expand operations with economic efficiency and reliability, key factors for an airline. With our ATR aircraft, we will continue to meet the cargo needs of communities with increased capacity."

Tarek Ben Omrane, Head of Business Development, ATR, added: "We are delighted that GIG Aviation has chosen ATR to expand its network and use its unrivalled performance to support the connectivity and e-commerce growth in Nigeria. We believe that ATR aircraft are the perfect fit for such needs and are happy that the customers of GIG Aviation will benefit from fast efficient services provided by GIG Aviation through the use of our aircraft."

There are currently around 140 converted ATR freighter aircraft in operation, representing one third of the global regional freighter fleet. ATR forecasts a demand for 460 freighters over 20 years in the up-to-nine-tonne category.

Founded in 2012 by Chidi Ajaere who is the current Chairman, GIG Group has about 800 employees and offices in Nigeria, Ghana, U.S. and U.K.

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