Virgin Australia has ordered more ATR aircraft

Skywest Airlines has ordered five more ATR 72-600 aircraft that are set to be operated on a range of routes on behalf of Virgin Australia.

These five aircraft take to 13 the number of firm orders of ATR 72 aircraft placed by the Singapore-based leasing company Avation PLC in 2011 for Skywest Airlines: four ATR 72-500s, which are already operating on Virgin Australia’s regional network, and nine new generation ATR 72-600s, the first of which Skywest will receive next year.

The new contract for five ATR 72-600s also includes options for eight additional aircraft.

Like the ATR 72-500s now operated for Virgin Australia by Skywest Airlines, all of the ATR 72-600 aircraft will fly in Virgin’s new white and red colour scheme.

The latest five aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from early 2013 through early 2014.

“The first four ATR 72-500s are now operating successfully on Virgin routes in eastern Australia, and are fast gaining popularity with both the airline and its passengers,” said ATR’s CEO, Filippo Bagnato.

“It is a great endorsement of the ATR 72 that after just one month of operating in Australia, Skywest and Virgin have decided to add more aircraft.

 “These aircraft are the right size for the routes they fly, and offer the best fuel economy of any comparable aircraft in the 70-seat range, making them ideal for Virgin.”