New Delhi - Indian low-cost operator IndiGo is preparing to welcome the ATR 72-600 in its fleet. The aircraft will allow him to develop a new regional offer.

The first commercial flight is scheduled for 21 December 2017 from Hyderabad. In addition, a maintenance contract has been concluded with Pratt & Whitney for the engines.

IndiGo will become the third ATR operator in India after Jet Airways and Air India.

IndiGo last spring signed a letter of intent with ATR to acquire up to fifty ATR 72-600s for the development of new regional routes. On October 16th, the company detailed the first routes on which the turboprop will be deployed.

The ATR 72-600 will fly first to existing destinations in the network (but not necessarily connected to each other): Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Madurai, and Nagpur; as well as to two new cities: Tirupati and Rajahmundry. The first ATR flight will start in Hyderabad from 21 December 2017, the company said.

The deployment of the new fleet will be gradual, with the objective of improving the connectivity of these cities. IndiGo expects to introduce seven ATRs by the end of March 2018, and twenty by the end of December 2018.

The company has also entered into a contract with Pratt & Whitney for the PW127M engines that will propel its new fleet. This agreement, signed in August 2017, and extends over a period of 10 years from the date of entry into service of each engine and could be extended thereafter.

IndiGo will become the third ATR operator in India after Jet Airways and Air India.

India's busiest airline with a 39.9 % market share in March 2017, IndiGo now operates an Airbus fleet of 141 aircraft, including 117 A320ceo and 24 A320neo aircraft. It has ordered a total of 531 single-aisle aircraft at Airbus, in addition to up to 50 ATRs.