29 January 2012 (updated 3 February 2012):
Skywest Airlines has issued a media release on 26 January 2012, announcing the imminent delivery of two more ATR72-500 aircraft (their fifth and sixth). Like the previous ATRs, these will be operated under the 10-year contract between Skywest and Virgin Australia. They will be painted in Virgin Australia colours.
The fifth ATR72-500 has already been handed over to the airline, and the sixth is to be delivered within 14 days.
The ATR72-500s are:
- VH-FVU (cn 978): This aircraft was first flown at Toulouse as F-WWEW on 6 December 2011, and handed over at Toulouse to Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) as OY-CJU on 23 December 2011. The aircraft was flown from Toulouse (France) to Lelystad (Netherlands) on 27 January 2012 painted all-white (see photo HERE), to be repainted in Virgin Australia colours. It will be delivered to Brisbane by mid-February 2012.
- VH-FVX (cn 986): This aircraft was first flown at Toulouse as F-WWEG on 21 December 2011, and handed over at Toulouse to Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) as OY-CJV, being registered as such on 6 January 2012 (see photo HERE).
Skywest also announced that one additional Fokker F100 aircraft will enter service, however a second F100 was acquired for use as a spares source:
- PH-LMY (cn 11305) – formerly PH-LMY, PT-MRH with TAM (Brazil), XA-MRH with Click Mexicana, N305MX: This is currently with Fokker Services at Woensdrecht in the Netherlands, and will enter service with Skywest. To be registered VH-FZO.
- PH-ABX (cn 11494) – formerly PH-EZO, F-GPXD with Brit Air (operated for Air France) – This aircraft arrived in Perth at 12:42 on Friday 3 February on delivery to Skywest using callsign “Southern Cross 1215”. It commenced its delivery flight on Tuesday 31 January from Norwich, UK. The route flown was Norwich (UK) – Trabzon (Turkey) – Al Ain (UAE) – Nagpur (India) – Penang (Malaysia) – Jakarta-Halim (Indonesia) – Perth. NOTE: This aircraft is reportedly to be used broken up for spare parts, and will not enter revenue service with Skywest.