MIAMI— The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted ATR the certification for its passenger-cargo “combi” variant of the ATR 72-600 turboprop.

According to a press release, the new cabin configuration will allow a combined ” cargo volume for over 19 m3 in volume and nearly 3,000 kg in weight with up to 44 passengers” The manufacturer said that the variant replaces the first seven rows of the passenger cabin to accommodate an enlarged cargo section for four containers, two folding the aircraft load-carrying capacity.

ATR also announced that the combi version will be offered as a retrofit package on the existing aircraft and that the first delivery is set before the end of the year to Airlines PNG. The Papua New Guinea carrier will take eight turboprops with this configuration.

ATR Senior Vice President Programs Thierry Casale said the new “combi” configuration is part of the “incremental product developments announced earlier this year at the Paris Air Show. With more cargo space and excellent cost-per-trip economics, the “combi” version opens a new path to develop new markets,” he said.

Last year, the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 launched a combi version intended for airlines operating routes with medium to low passenger loads and high cargo potential. So far, the Canadian manufacturer has also reaped a single order for the type, announced earlier this month.