Australia's First ATR 42-500 Takes Flight with MacAir Airlines
The aircraft commenced service at 11:30 am, operating a flight from the coastal city of Townsville to the regional mining centre of Cloncurry. The MacAir ATR 42-500 - the largest aircraft in the carrier's fleet - will also be used to support several "fly in-fly out" services to remote mining communities in outback Queensland.
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"The introduction by MacAir of Australia's first ATR 42-500 is a milestone for the airline and for Australia's regional air transport industry. We are glad of their choice", said Stephane Mayer, ATR CEO. "Although the MacAir ATR 42-500 is the first of its type to be stationed in Australia, there are already some 30 ATR 42 and larger ATR 72 aircraft operating elsewhere in the South Pacific region, with operators in markets including New Zealand, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Vanuatu and Fiji" he added. "The decision by MacAir to introduce Australia's first ATR 42-500 is yet another vote of confidence in our aircraft, and a major gain for passengers".
The Managing Director of MacAir Airlines, Randal McFarlane, said the ATR 42-500 was selected after a detailed review of options in the 50-70-seat aircraft market. "Not only did we need a high-capacity aircraft to accommodate growing demand in key markets," said McFarlane. "We also needed an aircraft which could perform effectively in Queensland's harsh outback climate. The ATR 42-500 performs strongly in 'hot and high' conditions, which can impede performance and reduce the revenue payload on some aircraft types. This aircraft can also operate from short or unpaved airstrips, providing valuable additional flexibility for outback operations, in particular to some mine sites."
McFarlane said another major benefit of the ATR 42-500 was the fact that this aircraft type is still in active and expanding production, which ensures that there will be a strong support from the manufacturer and a continued development of the product with the introduction of the latest technological features.
"The ATR 42-500 also has a spacious 2 x 2 seating configuration, a galley, a toilet and a washroom, as well as excellent air conditioning - a major factor for aircraft operating in the outback or tropical heat," said McFarlane. "It also has the most fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly engines of any aircraft in this category", he concluded.
Source : ATR