Press Release – Air New Zealand
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Air New Zealand today took delivery in Toulouse of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft, which is painted black as part of the airline’s support for New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks. The airline and ATR announced in October 2011 a contract for seven firm 68-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft, plus options for another five, in a deal worth more than US $270 million.
This first ATR 72-600, configured with 68 seats, is scheduled to enter service early in November, with a first flight between Christchurch and Wellington. The new aircraft features the brand new Armonia cabin interior, with improved seating and larger overhead luggage bins.
The delivery of the new plane to Air New Zealand was witnessed by the former All Blacks rugby player Luke McAllister. Deliveries of the seven firm ATR 72-600s are due to be completed in 2016.
Air New Zealand currently has a fleet of eleven ATR 72-500 aircraft in service with its subsidiary Mount Cook. The arrival of the new fleet of ATR 72-600s will grow Mount Cook’s ATR fleet and will enable the airline to further expand its domestic operations with new destinations and frequencies.
The airline will also optimize seat capacity offering on selected markets, by replacing smaller aircraft types on its regional network.
Air New Zealand has been operating ATR aircraft for nearly 20 years since the introduction of its first ATR -an ATR 72-200- in 1994.
Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said the ATR 72-600 was a significant milestone in the airline’s ongoing commitment to growing its key domestic business. “The ATR 72-600 order potentially doubles the size of Air New Zealand’s ATR fleet and will put two million additional regional seats into the market,” said Mr Fyfe.
The General Manager of Air New Zealand’s subsidiary Mount Cook Airline, Sarah Williamson, said: “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.”
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, 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. 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.” He added: “The ATR 72-600 is the most fuel-efficient regional aircraft in the 50-70 seat market. It is also the greenest, emitting less CO2 and making less noise than any comparable aircraft in the market today”.
About the ATR 72-600:
Passenger capacity: 68-74 seats
Engines: Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M
Maximum power at take-off: 2,750 horse power per engine
Maximum weight at take-off: 23,000 Kg
Maximum load: 7,500 Kg
Maximum range with full passenger load: 900 nautical miles (1,665 Km)
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About Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is a multi-award winning international airline which carries more than 13 million passengers to, from and within New Zealand each year. With an operating fleet of more than 100 aircraft, the airline connects customers to 28 domestic New Zealand ports and 28 international ports in Asia, Europe, Australia, North America and the Pacific Islands. Air New Zealand is the only airline to have received the prestigious Air Transport World Airline of the Year award, considered the Oscar of the airline industry, twice within three years (2010, 2012). The airline is renowned for thinking outside the square; recent innovations include the revolutionary Premium Economy Spaceseat and Economy Skycouch seating, the world’s first in-flight International Airline Concierge service and marketing campaigns that get the world talking. www.airnz.co.nz
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world leader on the market for regional aircraft with 90 seats or less. Since its creation, ATR has sold over 1,200 aircraft, and has today 186 operators based in 90 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours. ATR is an equal partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. Its head office is in Toulouse (France). ATR is ISO 14001-certified, the international reference standard in the field for environmental friendliness.
For additional information, log on to www.atraircraft.com.
To follow ATR’s video and photo highlights of the event on Youtube, go to ATRbroadcast