This week’s US$375 million list price investment in a fleet of modern generation turboprop aircraft will not only support Air New Zealand’s fleet renewal but also provide scope for it to further expand its regional offering in the country. The airline will introduce 15 additional ATR 72-600s into its fleet adding to an earlier order for the type in 2012.
In 2012 the airline announced it would add to its ATR fleet with an investment in 14 ATR72-600 aircraft - seven of these aircraft have since been delivered with the remaining seven due to join the fleet by mid-2016. The additional 15 new aircraft will begin arriving from late 2016 with eleven directly replacing older ATR 72-500 variants, but four earmarked for further growth on regional New Zealand routes.
“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. This latest investment will further allow us to maintain our low fare price and high frequency leadership," said Christopher Luxon, Chief Executive Officer, Air New Zealand.
The executive said the airline is proud of its commitment to operating both a world-leading turboprop fleet and a comprehensive regional network. “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,” he explained.
In addition to ATR aircraft Air New Zealand also currently operates ten 19-seat Beech 1900D and 23 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8-Q300 aircraft types on its regional network. According to OAG schedules, Air New Zealand this month is using its ATR fleet to serve 13 different markets with an average of 123 rotations per day offering more than 8,000 seats.