Posted on: 05 November 2015 by Mark Howells
Air New Zealand and ATR have signed a contract for the airline to buy 15 additional ATR 72-600s.
The airline, which ordered seven ATR 72-600s in 2011 and subsequently firmed up all its five options as well as converting two purchase rights into firm orders, will operate, a total of 29 ATR 72-600s by 2020, which will make it the third largest fleet of ATR aircraft worldwide.
Air New Zealand’s ATR 72-600s will progressively replace the current fleet of 11 ATR 72-500s, meaning that four of the new aircraft will allow for further growth on regional routes. The 15 new aircraft will have 68 seats and feature larger overhead bins and lightweight seats. Deliveries of these aircraft will begin in late 2016.
“The extra four 68 seat ATR 72-600s that we are adding to our fleet will enable us to operate up to an additional 600,000 seats into the New Zealand regional market annually,” remarked Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand’s chief executive officer. “We have been successfully operating ATR aircraft for more than 20 years, and we are pleased to further expand our partnership by introducing additional new generation ATRs to our fleet. We have operated ATR-600s since 2012 and we are very satisfied with the aircraft, both in terms of the customer experience and operational efficiency, which contributed to achieve our sustainability targets. The new ATR-600s also ensure we continue to deliver a world class experience to our regional customers”
In addition to ATR aircraft, Air New Zealand also currently operates ten 19-seat Beech 1900Ds and 23 50-seat Bombardier Q300s.