Air New Zealand welcomes new ATR to connect regions this Christmas

Kiwis travelling to the regions for a well-earned holiday this Christmas will be left feeling pretty fly as they touch down in a brand-new ATR72-600 turboprop plane.
16 December 2021

After making the 10-day journey from Toulouse, France, through some of the world's most picturesque destinations - Crete, Bali and the Maldives included – ZK-MZF landed at Auckland Airport yesterday afternoon (15 December).

Air New Zealand's Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan says the latest ATR72-600 is exciting news for our customers who want to escape to the regions this summer.

"We're really excited to welcome this latest addition to our domestic fleet."

The aircraft, which can seat 68 passengers, will be used to service regional routes and travel to the likes of New Plymouth, Tauranga and Nelson.

The new aircraft did not stay in Auckland long before it departed for Christchurch, where it's going through the process of getting ready for service.

"It won't be sitting on the tarmac for too long before taking off for its first flight which will likely be on December 23, just in time to help get our customers to where they need to be this Christmas."

December 23 is expected to be one of the busiest days on the airline's domestic network this month, with more than 30,000 passengers booked to fly that day, and about 29,000 booked on Christmas Eve.

The aircraft is the last of the fleet of 29 to arrive, with the first having touched down back in 2012. The aircraft is also the 1600th ATR ever produced, and the 29th to join the airline's fleet, making Air New Zealand the owner of the third's largest fleet of ATR72-600s.

During that time the fleet of ATRs have boosted the airline's regional network by over 50 per cent.

ATRs are one of the most common types of planes used domestically, having flown an estimated 33.5 million passengers on over 636,000 flights around New Zealand.

The ATR72-600 is also the most fuel-efficient regional aircraft and uses significantly less fuel than other older planes.

The new plane took off from the ATR factory in France on 5 December, travelling more than 22,000km and stopping in seven countries including Greece, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.


Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,250 airports in 195 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.

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