Air New Zealand has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600, ordered under an October 2011 contract for seven firm aircraft plus options for another five.
The aircraft, painted in a striking all-black livery in support of the country’s rugby union team, will enter service in early November between Christchurch and Wellington.
The ATR 72-600s will operate alongside Air New Zealand’s fleet of 11 ATR 72-500s in service with subsidiary Mount Cook. The expanded fleet will allow the airline to increase frequency and network coverage.
“The first new aircraft will enter Mount Cook’s fleet in mid November and over time these new additions to the fleet will enable the airline to further expand its domestic operations with increased frequency, extra capacity and to service new ports,” General Manager of Air New Zealand’s subsidiary Mount Cook Airline, Sarah Williamson, said.
“We are both delighted and proud that Air New Zealand, a long-term customer of ATR, has again selected our aircraft as an integral part of its regional growth strategy,” Filippo Bagnato, ATR CEO, said. “Almost 20 years ago, Air New Zealand was one of the first airlines in the south-west Pacific region to introduce ATR airliners into its fleet, and now it is among the first in the region to fly the series 600.”