Air Tahiti and ATR have confirmed the order for two ATR 42-600S, the new version of the ATR 42 offering enhanced take-off and landing capabilities on short runways. The world number one in the regional aviation market has started taking orders for this new aircraft, to be launched officially once approved by the company’s Board of Directors—a decision expected to be announced before the end of the year.
The ATR 42-600S is a STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) version of the ATR 42-600 which has been enhanced to reduce the required take-off and landing distances, down from 1,050 metres at present to just 800 metres. Thanks to this upgrade, several hundred more airports will be accessible by ATR, offering airlines new commercial opportunities and providing local populations with better access to the global economy, health care, education and culture.
These new aircraft will be operated by the Polynesian airline on routes interconnecting the Marquesas Islands. They will allow an increase in the number of passengers carried to certain destinations in the archipelago, such as Ua Pou or Ua Huka, currently served only by smaller aircraft. The introduction of these new aircraft is also a response to the airline’s desire to continue to harmonise its regional fleet around ATRs, which Air Tahiti has been operating for over 30 years already.
All images by Air Tahiti.