MacAir Will Fly Turboprop To Remote Mining Areas
Aero-News learned Tuesday that
Australia's MacAir Airlines introduced into service Australia's
first ATR 42-500 turboprop aircraft, further expanding ATR's
presence in the Australasia-Pacific Islands region.
The aircraft commenced service Tuesday morning, operating a
flight from the coastal city of Townsville to the regional mining
center of Cloncurry. The MacAir ATR 42-500 -- the largest aircraft
in the carrier's fleet -- will also be used to support several "fly
in-fly out" services to remote mining communities in outback
"The introduction by MacAir of Australia's first ATR 42-500 is a
milestone for the airline and for Australia's regional air
transport industry. We are glad of their choice", said Stephane
Mayer, ATR CEO. "Although the MacAir ATR 42-500 is the first of its
type to be stationed in Australia, there are already some 30 ATR 42
and larger ATR 72 aircraft operating elsewhere in the South Pacific
region, with operators in markets including New Zealand, New
Caledonia, French Polynesia, Vanuatu and Fiji" he added. "The
decision by MacAir to introduce Australia's first ATR 42-500 is yet
another vote of confidence in our aircraft, and a major gain for
The Managing Director of MacAir Airlines, Randal McFarlane, said
the ATR 42-500 was selected after a detailed review of options in
the 50-70-seat aircraft market.
"Not only did we need a high-capacity aircraft to accommodate
growing demand in key markets," said McFarlane. "We also needed an
aircraft which could perform effectively in Queensland's harsh
outback climate. The ATR 42-500 performs strongly in 'hot and high'
conditions, which can impede performance and reduce the revenue
payload on some aircraft types. This aircraft can also operate from
short or unpaved airstrips, providing valuable additional
flexibility for outback operations, in particular to some mine
McFarlane said another major benefit of the ATR 42-500 was the
fact the aircraft type is still in active and expanding production,
which ensures a strong support from the manufacturer and a
continued development of the product with the introduction of the
latest technological features.
Another feature important to the carrier is that, well, the ATR
is a "cool" plane.
"The ATR 42-500 also has a spacious 2 x 2 seating configuration,
a galley, a toilet and a washroom, as well as excellent air
conditioning -- a major factor for aircraft operating in the
outback or tropical heat," said McFarlane. "It also has the most
fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly engines of any aircraft
in this category."