Air Botswana has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of a contract signed in July for two ATR 72-600s. The second is planned for delivery before the end of the year.
The first aircraft was handed over in Toulouse, France, on 2 November. ATR said the ATR 72-600s will upgrade Air Botswana’s current fleet of three ATR 42-500s and one ATR 72-500. The brand-new aircraft is configured with a 70-seat, dual class cabin and equipped with the latest avionics.
Commenting on the delivery of their first ATR 72-600, Agnes Tsholofelo Khunwana, CEO of Air Botswana, said: “We have been using ATRs for over 20 years and are very satisfied with their operating results. The latest generation of ATRs will allow us to provide the highest standards of comfort, reliability and eco-efficiency to our customers. The ATR 72-600s have also remarkable performance in terms of fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions which is an important added-value.”
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR, added, “Air Botswana is a long-standing ATR operator for over 20 years. Upgrading their fleet with 72-600s is a sign of confidence and we are very proud of that. With over 120 ATR aircraft flying in Africa, ATRs are the right aircraft for regional aviation in Africa, now and in the future, thanks to their unbeatable economics, eco-efficiency and comfort. ATR aims to play a major role in supporting local economies and social development for communities in Africa.”
The ATR 72-600s for Air Botswana will be equipped with the PW127N engine, which features the super-boost option that provides the benefit of allowing a four-passenger payload from hot and high airfields such as Johannesburg, Gaborone and Maun.
ATR sees a demand of 300 new turboprops over the next 20 years for the Africa and Middle-East region.