Air Tahiti Confirms ATR 42-600S, Orders New 72-600
Airlines ATR

Air Tahiti Confirms ATR 42-600S, Orders New 72-600

DALLAS – Air Tahiti (VT) firmed up its commitment for two ATR 42-600S, the short take-off and landing (STOL) version of the ATR 42-600. VT also ordered one additional unit of the larger ATR 72-600.

The airline is a regional carrier, operating between islands in French Polynesia. Based in Papeete (PPT) in Tahiti, the airline serves 47 islands. Due to these very special operations, flight length can carry between seven minutes and up to three hours and 30 minutes. The airline currently operates nine ATR aircraft to serve those islands.

The regional carrier became the launch customer of this STOL version of the ATR 42-600 during the Paris Air Show in 2019. The airline is interested because its destinations include short runways.

The ATR 42-600S allows VT to use the aircraft’s full load capacity when operating at airports with short runways.

Executives from VT and ATR signed the order for these regional jets. Photo: ATR

The ATR 42-600S

ATR decided to launch a STOL version of its regional aircraft, bringing the minimum runway length from 1,000 to 800 meters (3,280 to 2,620 ft).

According to the manufacturer, that means the aircraft will be able to access over 1,000 new airports in the world.

While the first delivery of this new version was planned for 2022, ATR now expects to deliver the first unit at the end of 2024. Earlier this year, the ATR 42-600S performed its first flight in Toulouse.

Photo: ATR

COmments from Air Tahiti, ATR Officials

Manate Vivish, VT’s General Manager, said, “Our ATR fleet has been instrumental in allowing us to achieve this essential mission, and will continue to be so as we keep growing and offering further sustainable connectivity.”

Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, ATR Chief Executive Officer, said, “Renewed confidence from a long-serving customer, such as Air Tahiti, is the best recognition of the efforts we are making every day to offer the most efficient, comfortable, and sustainable regional aircraft, emitting 45% less CO2 than similar-size regional jets.”

She continued, “At ATR, we invest in technology that brings affordable regional mobility while meeting stakeholders’ sustainable objectives – and the ATR 42-600S is a clear demonstration of this approach.”

With this additional order and the confirmation of two ATR 42-600S aircraft, VT renews its confidence in ATR’s regional turboprop. Moreover, the STOL aircraft will allow the airline to operate more easily in French Polynesia.

Featured image: The ATR 42-600 STOL will be able to transport up to 50 passengers. Photo: ATR

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