The National-flag carrier Air Botswana, has taken
delivery of its first new ATR 72-500, in accordance with a deal for two
ATR 72-500s inked last year and valued at some US$ 37 million.
With its new ATR 72-500s, configured with
68-seats and equipped with the “Elegance Cabin” and In-Flight
Entertainment, Air Botswana will be able to respond to the growth
of the air transport demand in the country by increasing the
passenger capacity of its current fleet of 3 ATR 42-500s.
The airline will fly its new ATR turboprops
previously operated by regional jets that become unprofitable.
Commenting on the delivery, L.M. Bantsi, Acting General
Manager of Air Botswana, said, “The introduction of these new ATR
72-500 aircraft responds to our need to increase our route
coverage and to provide more frequencies to our passengers. There
is a strong development of the regional air transportation in
Botswana and we are committed to match this opportunity with
larger capacity ATRs.”
“We are very satisfied with the
reliability and the performance of the ATR 42-500s we already fly.
The ATR ‘-500 series’, with their ability to operate in hot and
high environments are optimally adapted to our needs.”
“The relations of Air Botswana with ATR have existed
for the past 20 years, and are now further enhanced by the
acquisition of the two ATR 72-500 aircraft to be delivered today
and in May 2009. Indeed, this is a long and fruitful experience
and we expect to continue with ATR for many years to come,” added Mr. Bantsi.
Stéphane Mayer, ATR CEO, said, “The ATR aircraft are playing an
important role in the development of the regional air connectivity
in the whole African continent. We count today more than 80
aircraft being operated by some 25 carriers. This reflects the
suitability of the ATR aircraft for some specific operating
conditions in the continent, including hot and high environments
and small and remote airfields.
”Since the beginning of
the programme, ATR has sold 979 aircraft (420 ATR 42s and 559 ATR
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