Auckland - On January 24, Air Chathams, small New Zealand airline operating scheduled flights between the Chatham Islands and mainland New Zealand received its first ATR72-500.
The aircraft registered ZK-MCO has been leased from Air New Zealand, but Air Chathams will take the ownership of the turboprop this year in May.
Air Chathams will use its ATR 72-500 for flights between Blenheim and Te Anau and between Auckland and Queenstown.
The New Zealand operator has a diverse fleet that consists of three Saab 340, one Douglas DC-3, four Fairchild Metro III, one Aero Commander 690A, one Cessna 206, five Convair 580 and one ATR 72-500.
Air Chathams currently operates charter flights from the Chatham Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 432 nautical miles(800 kilometres) east of the mainland, to Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland as well as from Auckland to Whakatane, Whanganui, and Paraparaumu.