With ATR Aircraft passing the 40-year old mark, the manufacturer has delivered its 1,600th aircraft to Air New Zealand.
The 1,600th aircraft is an ATR72-600, representing the last of an order for 29 units for the airline.
Air New Zealand and ATR have worked together for over 25 years, with deliveries accelerating over the past decade. In particular, the use of ATR’s RNP AR 0.3/0.3 feature, part of ATR’s latest Standard 3 avionics suite, helped the airline and its pilots with the accuracy of the approach into Queenstown airport and providing reliable connectivity to the local community, who benefit greatly from ski tourism in the mountainous region.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Greg Foran said:
“We really value our longstanding relationship with ATR and this will be the 29th to join our fleet since 2012. During that time the fleet of ATRs have boosted the airline’s regional network by over 50 per cent and they have proven extremely efficient. Our ATRs have helped us build one of the best domestic networks in the world and have flown an estimated 33.5 million passengers on more than 636,000 flights around New Zealand.”
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR said:
“We are of course proud of this achievement and I recognise the hard work and dedication of every ATR employee, past and present, in getting us here. As we have recently celebrated 40 years of making a difference, it is the perfect moment to think about how the ATR has supported communities throughout New Zealand. Passengers really depend on our aircraft to access opportunities to do business, study or simply see their loved ones. An aircraft needs to be efficient and versatile to thrive in New Zealand, so it makes perfect sense to build a fleet of turboprops. And while today there are many ATR’s in New Zealand, there is now also an important part of New Zealand in many ATRs, thanks to their input into the RNP AR 0.3/0.3 approach technology. Meaning that operators all over the world can benefit from yet another innovative product evolution.”
ATR has been building both its niche and momentum – now that the de Halvland Dash 8 has paused serial production and, competing in the space occupied by Embraer to a point.
As operators seek to continue reducing their environmental footprints – as well as costs – they will actively seeking solutions that meet their needs.
ATR Aircraft it seems is ready to meet those needs – if the increased order book from the Dubai Air Show is anything to go by.
Images – ATR Aircraft
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