Toulouse, November 25, 2016 – Air Calédonie today took delivery of its first of 4 ATR 72-600 aircraft at a ceremony at ATR facilities in Toulouse, France. Air Calédonie’s ATR 72-600 will seat 68 passengers in all-economy configuration and will be used on the New Caledonia domestic network.
Air Calédonie and ATR started a long-term partnership in 1986, when the first ATR 42 began operations to develop inter-island services. Today, 30 years later, with the entry into service of the latest generation ATR 72-600 turboprops, the airline will complete and gradually replace the existing ATR fleet, increasing the passenger capacity while offering the highest level of comfort to its customers.
Samuel Hnepeune, Chief Executive Officer of Air Calédonie, stated: “Today’s delivery represents another important step in the company’s strategy to build strong foundations for the future. The decision to continue with ATR for our short-haul inter-island operations underpins Air Calédonie’s plan to outfit a fleet of the most fuel-efficient and reliable aircraft. The ATR -600 series family’s outstanding operational effectiveness and comfort make it the right choice for our airline.”
“We are proud to support Air Calédonie in its period of growth,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Executive Officer of ATR. “With the introduction of these modern ATR-600 series airplanes, Air Calédonie is, again, demonstrating its confidence in our product which has proven to be a reference for airlines around the world. Air Calédonie is undertaking a major change and we are pleased to watch the ATR 72-600 becoming an integral part of the airline’s success.”
The new ATR 72-600 is planned to open up its first commercial service on December 7th, departing from Magenta Airport to Koné Airport in New Caledonia, then to conduct on average 26 return flights per week.