MIAMI — On Saturday, November 23, a Silver Airways ATR 72-600 took off from Tampa International Airport (TPA) en route to Pensacola International Airport (TPA), becoming the first of its type to fly in the United States.

Silver Airways is now the first and exclusive operator of the ATR-600 series in the United States, marking a milestone for both the carrier and the European manufacturer. It has been over 25 years since another ATR was last operated in the country.

Photo: Gaillac

Based in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Silver Airways is a pioneering regional airliner that operates between Florida, the Caribbean, and seasonal New England destinations.  

With the 70-seat ATR 72 leased by Nordic Aviation Capital, the regional operator hopes to expand its service between Florida and the Bahamas, with the goal of extending the aircraft’s service to the Caribbean by 2020.

The news comes after several months of large-scale reorganization, in which the airline underwent substantial changes to its fleet, customer service, and operations.

“This is an exciting time for Silver Airways and regional airline flying as we continue our fleet transformation and focus on providing the highest level of safe, reliable and customer-focused service,” emphasized Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum.

Silver Airways currently operates six ATR 42-600s, which made the airline the sole operator of the 600 series in the United States earlier this year.

The airplanes in service are seven of up to 50 ATR-600 series aircraft Silver has the option of operating. The airline’s fleet also operates 21 Saab 340s.

Photo: PlanespotterA320

The ATR 72 has a larger and more accommodating cabin than the 46-seat ATR 42, featuring the widest cabin in the regional airliner market. Cabin features that stand out include greater legroom and full-size overhead bins.

Apart from the passenger experience, ATR-600 series pilots can appreciate state-of-the-art innovations, including simplistic LCD advanced functions, the latest avionics, and an all-glass cockpit, which weighs less and is easier to maintain.

Outside of the aircraft, the ATR-600 series leads the regional airliner market in performance capabilities. Along with being quiet and cost-competitive, the 600 series produces 40% less carbon dioxide emissions than its regional jet competitors.  

The airline continues to climb higher, having recently announced that it would join a codeshare partnership with Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. The arrangement would allow customers to connect to Caribbean destinations through Silver Airways.

Silver is also a codeshare partner with United, JetBlue, Avianca and Copa Airlines. The operator also maintains interline agreements with Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Azul, Bahamasair, Emirates and Hahn Air.