The national flag carrier Air Vanuatu has started operations of its very first ATR 72-600. The aircraft, leased from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), was recently delivered in Toulouse, France.
The aircraft is configured with 70 seats and is equipped with the most modern cabin interior and navigation aid tools. Thanks to the ETOPS 120 minutes capabilities (Extended Range Twin-engine Operations) of the ATR aircraft family, the new ATR 72-600 will be able to operate not only within the domestic network of the airline but to the surrounding territories of Fiji, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. ATR is the only turboprop manufacturer proposing ETOPS-120 certification on its aircraft, thus substantially increasing the operational versatility of the aircraft on inter-island operations.
Air Vanuatu started operating ATR aircraft in 2004 and today has two ATR 72-500s in its fleet.
Commenting on the entry into service, Martin Møller, Chairman of NAC declared: “We are delighted to see the first ATR 72-600 series aircraft start operations in Vanuatu, we believe that this aircraft type is the perfect complement to the airlines current fleet. We have great confidence in the -600 series and are pleased to play a pivotal role in introducing the latest ATR technologies to new territories.
Joseph Laloyer, Chief Executive Officer of Air Vanuatu, declared: “We are very pleased to offer our passengers the newest standards of comfort of the ATR -600, for both our domestic network and within the region. As an airline, we will benefit from the ATR -600’s enhanced performance, recognized fuel efficiency and lowest environmental impact in its category.”
Tom Anderson, Senior Vice President Commercial and Customer Support of ATR, added: “Air Vanuatu has been operating ATR aircraft for more than ten years. We are very pleased that our newest aircraft model continues strengthening links between communities and developing business and economic opportunities in Vanuatu.”