Air New Zealand tops up ATR 72-600 turboprops order

An Air NZ ATR 72-600. (ATR)

Air New Zealand has increased its order of ATR 72-600 turboprops to 14, announcing at the Paris Airshow it had converted an option into a firm order.

The announcement was made at the delivery ceremony of its latest ATR 72-600, which was expected to enter service in July and join six other ATR 72-600s and 11 ATR 72-500s already in the Air NZ fleet.

ATR chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac said Air NZ’s decision to order the ATR turboprop was a “great endorsement” for the program.

“The conversion of optional planes into firm orders only reiterates the airline’s commitment to operating the most modern, productive and comfortable aircraft,” Castelbajac said in a statement.

Once all deliveries are completed in 2017, Air NZ would have 25 ATR turboprops in its fleet, comprising 11 72-500s and 14 72-600s, ATR said, making the airline one of the largest operators of the aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The addition of a new ATR aircraft to our fleet forms an essential component of our plan to revamp regional operations aimed at delivering sustainable air services and lower prices for customers,” Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon said in a statement.

“We believe the ATR product is the way forward for us. The aircraft are economical to operate, and provide our customers with a modern, bright and comfortable cabin space.”

 

Air NZ and ATR officials at the delivery ceremony of the airline's newest ATR 72-600. (ATR)

Australian Aviation