The Franco-Italian manufacturer has delivered its first aircraft to a long-time de Havilland Canada operator. Read more below...
Maldives national airline Maldivian has received its first new-build ATR 72-600s. The two aircraft, 8Q-IAY (c/n 1654) and ‘IAZ (c/n 1655), arrived at the carrier’s Malé/Velana base earlier today (January 4, 2023) following a two-day ferry flight from the manufacturer's Toulouse/Blagnac production facility via Heraklion in Crete, Hurghada in Egypt and the Omani capital Muscat.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127XT-powered examples add to the solitary ATR 72-500, EC-KKQ (c/n 763), flown on lease from Spain's Swift Air since last November, and will shortly be complemented by a single ATR 42-600 also on order.
Mohamed Mihad, Managing Director of Maldivian, stated: “Operating in an environment like the Maldives is a matter of offering quick access to essential services to local communities, contributing to the archipelago’s economic development, boosting tourism – and all of this with sustainability at heart. When flying onboard our latest generation ATR turboprops, our passengers will benefit from the best of both worlds: the convenience and comfort of air travel and the guarantee of the lowest emission regional aircraft on the market.”
ATR Chief Executive Officer Nathalie Tarnaud Laude added: “ATR aircraft have a proven track record in terms of connecting islands affordably and sustainably in many regions of the world. We will be supporting Maldivian in their sustainable development throughout the years with the latest technology to further enhance their operations whilst fulfilling their sustainability pledges. We are as much committed as Maldivian in contributing to the industry’s net-zero carbon emissions 2050 target.”
The decision to acquire new-build ATRs marks a notable departure for long-time de Havilland Canada operator Maldivian. The incoming turboprops will support local communities and the booming tourism sector across the Indian Ocean archipelago and are expected to replace some of the older aircraft in the carrier's fleet, which currently includes two Dash 8-Q200s, eight Dash 8-Q300s and 11 DHC-6-300 Twin Otters.