Latest black airliner in service
Air New Zealand took delivery on 31 October of its first ATR 72-600, painted in all black livery, as part of the airline’s support for New Zealand’s All Blacks national rugby team.
The airline and ATR announced in October 2011 a firm contract for seven 68-seat ATR 72-600s, plus options for another five, in a deal worth more than $328m, with deliveries due to be completed in 2016. This first ATR 72-600 entered service last month with a first flight between Christchurch and Wellington.
Air New Zealand currently has a fleet of 11 ATR 72-500s in service with its subsidiary Mount Cook Airline. The arrival of the new fleet of ATR 72-600s will increase Mount Cook’s ATR fleet and will enable it to expand its domestic operations with new destinations and frequencies.
The airline will also optimise seat capacity on selected markets, by replacing smaller aircraft types on its regional network. Air New Zealand has been operating ATRs for nearly 20 years since the introduction of its first example — an ATR 72-200 — in 1994.
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