Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Regionals get busier

Neelam Mathews
Oct 18, 2011

Virgin Australia has inaugurated its ATR 72-500 services starting a new era of air transport in Australia.

The inaugural flight of Virgin Australia’s first turboprop - and Australia’s first ATR 72 – was also the airline’s first flight from Brisbane to the regional industrial city of Gladstone.

And it was a milestone for ATR Regional Aircraft, the world’s largest manufacturer of 50-74 seat turboprop airliners, adding Australia to an already-extensive list of Asia-Pacific markets where ATR aircraft operate.

The airline has orders for four of the series 500 model – three of which have now been delivered - and four of the next-generation series 600 model. 

Filippo Bagnato, CEO of ATR, said: “Virgin Australia needed an aircraft type which would provide an economic entry into new regional routes, and cost-effective expansion of a range of existing markets…….”

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