Skywest to lease 18 new ATR72 (-500 & -600) turboprops, operated for Virgin Blue

Skywest to lease 18 new ATR72 (-500 & -600) turboprops, operated for Virgin Blue

ABOVE: An ATR72-600
Photo © ATR

23 February 2011: Further to the recent announcement by Skywest and Virgin Blue of their 10-year strategic alliance, it has been confirmed in a Virgin Blue media release that Skywest will take delivery new ATR72 turboprops.

  • “Up to” 18 ATR72s are to be ordered, in both the -500 and -600 versions. To be Virgin Blue branded.
  • ATR72-500s will initially be delivered from May 2011, with four in service by the end of July. At least eight will be in service by June 2012.
  • ATR72-600 versions will replace the -500s from February 2012.
  • The first six ATRs will replace Virgin Blue’s Embraer E170 fleet, with additional aircraft operating to new regional destinations.
  • Seating configuration is not yet confirmed – the -500 can take 68-72 passengers, and the -600 up to 74 passengers, depending on configuration.
  • Under the alliance arrangement, Virgin Blue will wet-lease the aircraft from Skywest, who will lease them from Avation.
  • John Borghetti says that the ATR72 uses one-third less fuel than the E170 and 20% to 30% less than the Bombardier Dash 8-400
  • “It has a wider aisle and wider cabin than other aircraft we were looking at.”

ATR72 – economics (from the Virgin Blue media release):

E170

ATR72

Seat capacity

78

68

Capital cost (USD million)

37

23

Fuel burn (kg)

1,350

525

Fuel cost per ASK (cents)

4.1

1.8

CO2 emissions (tonnes)

3.3

1.7

Fuel efficiency4
(litres of fuel / pax / 100km)

4.1

2.4

Flight time (hr)

0:55

0:55

Note: Cost based on list prices; Fuel cost, CO2, and flight time based on 150 nm flight; Fuel efficiency based on typical cruise at 97% MTOW. Source: ATR

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *