Air New Zealand has taken delivery of a new ATR 72-500 aircraft which will arrive in Christchurch at 8.00 pm this evening from Toulouse (France) with stopovers in Luxor, (Eygpt), Muscat (Oman), Colombo (Sri Lanka) Singapore, Darwin, and Brisbane.
The new 66-seat aircraft will be introduced into service from 9 February 2003. It will be operated by Mount Cook Airline and service what are essentially the main regional tourist routes of Christchurch - Rotorua and Christchurch - Queenstown, as well as adding extra capacity between Christchurch & Wellington, Palmerston North & Christchurch and Nelson to Wellington.
Mount Cook Airline General Manager, Peter O`Regan, who will be among several Air New Zealand personnel on board the delivery flight from Toulouse, said he was delighted to add another ATR aircraft to the fleet.
“This ATR aircraft not only provides the additional capacity required to meet the increased demand in the region following the introduction of ExpressClass, but importantly it is ideally suited to flying New Zealand’s tourist routes”.
“ATRs offer passenger comfort similar to that of a jet with wide aisles, comfortable seating, and a cabin height of 1.9 metres (75 inches). The aircraft also has low operating costs and is a good long-term fit with Air New Zealand’s existing fleet.” said Mr O`Regan.
The aircraft will be the 10th ATR 72-500 in the Air New Zealand fleet - all this aircraft type are operated by Mount Cook Airline.