New ATR-72-600 for Air Vanuatu
MONDAY, 22nd AUGUST 2016 : Air Vanuatu’s brand new ATR72-600 aircraft is in production and due to arrive in Vanuatu within three months, chief executive officer Joseph Laloyer has announced.
The new aircraft is larger and more economical than the current ATR72-500 and will offer more comfort to passengers.
The ATR 72-600 benefits from the widest cabin in the turboprop market, with a new cabin including an ergonomic design for greater comfort, new seats and wider overhead bins with 30% more roller bags stowage.
The new aircraft will also save the airline in operating and maintenance costs, Mr. Laloyer said.
“The ATR 72-600 is the preferred aircraft of most major regional and international carriers thanks to its lowest seat per mile cost for 70 seat aircraft,” he said.
Air Vanuatu is exploring new routes for the new aircraft, including a Vila-Santo-Noumea service.
“We have tested Santo-Noumea flights during peak periods over the last 18 months and we are very keen to develop this market,” Mr. Laloyer said.
The airline plans to retain the use of one of its existing ATR72-500 when the new ATR72-600 arrives, subject to demand in the domestic market.
“We’re also acquiring another Twin Otter aircraft that we plan to service the northern islands on a more effective schedule,” he said.
The extra capacity would develop tourism markets in the northern islands and satisfy demand on the Vila-Santo market as well, Mr. Laloyer said.
“We continue to work with industry partners to develop new markets and support existing markets and look forward to the support of the northern islands to push tourism in the region.”
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