Air New Zealand has announced plans to purchase 15 new ATR 72-600 aircraft to bolster its regional operations.
The new 68-seat turboprop aircraft, which are collectively valued at US$375 million, will be delivered to the airline from late 2016 onwards. Eleven of the aircraft will replace Air New Zealand’s older ATR 72-500s, while the remaining four new aircraft expand the airline’s fleet.
The new aircraft add to a previous order for 14 ATR 72-600s, placed by Air New Zealand in 2012. Seven of these aircraft have already been delivered with the remaining seven due to arrive by mid-2016.
“The extra four 68-seat ATR72-600 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,” said Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon.
“Once these new aircraft arrive we will operate a fleet of 29 ATR aircraft, the third largest ATR fleet in the world, which is testament to the breadth and depth of our regional network.”
In addition to its ATR aircraft, Air New Zealand’s regional fleet also includes 10 19-seat Beech 1900Ds and 23 50-seat Bombardier Q300s.