PNG Air has ordered three ATR 42-600S aircraft.
The deal means that PNG Air has become the launch customer of the STOL version of the ATR 42-600.
The ATR 42-600S will be capable of taking-off from and landing on runways that are as short as 800m in length, with 40 passengers on board in standard flight conditions.
The three new STOL aircraft will replace PNG Air’s current fleet of ageing turboprops.
Paul Abbot, Chief Executive Officer of PNG Air, said, “Since incorporating the ATR 72-600 into our fleet PNG Air has gone from strength to strength, benefitting from its unrivalled efficiency, as it burns 40% less fuel and emits 40% less CO2 than a similar sized regional jet. When looking at options to replace our existing STOL fleet, the ATR -600 family’s maintenance costs and commonality were hugely attractive. This commonality will lead to greater efficiency in terms of both spare parts and pilot training. We are also looking forward to introducing passengers travelling to and from our destinations with short runways to the comfort of the modern ATR -600 series cabin.”
With this new version, ATR forecasts to expand the addressable market by 25%, targeting new routes and the 30-seater STOL segment. ATR says that there is strong interest from airlines for a new 50-seat product capable of operating in more constrained conditions. Close to 500 airports have a runway of between 800m and 1,000m with nearly a third of those runways in Asia Pacific.
ATR Chief Executive Officer, Stefano Bortoli, said, “The decision to replace their existing STOL fleet with our ATR 42-600S represents an intelligent acquisition and is a perfect example of why this aircraft is such an important solution for the regional aviation market. People and businesses around the world depend on the connectivity that ATR aircraft provide. Without a viable STOL replacement PNG Air’s passengers would face significant challenges to their way of life. As a successful airline PNG Air have shown that they understand the importance of these links to their passengers and the communities that they serve.”
Source: Breaking Travel News