Air New Zealand today took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft, painted in an all black livery, as part of the airline’s sponsorship of New Zealand’s national rugby team.
The new turboprop aircraft is the first of seven 68-seat ATR 72-600s ordered by the airline in October 2011 in a deal worth more than US$270 million. The delivery of all seven is due to be completed in 2016.
The new ATR is scheduled to enter service early in November with Air NZ’s domestic subsidiary Mount Cook Air on the Christchurch-Wellington route.
“The ATR 72-600 order potentially doubles the size of Air New Zealand’s ATR fleet [including five options] and will put two million additional regional seats into the market,” said Air NZ’s CEO, Rob Fyfe.
Air NZ currently has a fleet of eleven ATR 72-500 aircraft in service with Mount Cook. The arrival of the new fleet of ATR 72-600s will grow the subsidiary’s ATR fleet, enabling it to expand its domestic operations with new destinations and frequencies.
“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,” said Sarah Williamson, General Manager of Mount Cook.