The national airline of the Maldives, Island Aviation Services Ltd (dba. Maldivian), and ATR announced the signing of a contract for the purchase of the airline’s first ATR aircraft: two ATR 72-600s and one ATR 42-600. The three aircraft will be delivered in 2022.
The ATR 72-600 and ATR 42-600 will benefit from the new PW127XT engines, offering 3 percent reduction in fuel consumption and a 20 percent reduction in maintenance costs, along with the ability to use sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Just as it is for the aircraft manufacturer, sustainable development is a major concern for the airline. ATR aircraft already boast the lowest fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of all the regional aircraft, with ATR 72-600 aircraft consuming up to 40 percent less fuel than similarly-sized regional jets.
Maldivian is joining forces with ATR to contribute to the economic development of the archipelago. This initiative will complement the Government of Maldives’ air mobility policy and allow Maldivian to offer enhanced connectivity across the Maldives. Mohamed Mihad, managing director of Maldivian, said: “We are pleased to take this next step in our expansion plans with ATR. We believe the new generation of ATR aircraft with the XT engines offer something we have been looking for in our fleet modernisation, taking a step towards sustainability while keeping an eye on the operating costs as well as enhancing the cabin modernity and passenger comfort.”
Stefano Bortoli, ATR’s chief executive officer, stated: “Despite the current pandemic, operators are looking to the future, and this contract is a strong symbol of the resilience of the aviation sector. Our aircraft have proven their reliability by linking up the islands of many archipelagos for almost four decades; we welcome Maldivian as a new customer and we are proud to contribute sustainably to the modernisation and expansion of the flag carrier of the Maldives.”