Just three weeks into the new year, ATR has reported its first order of 2022. Maldivian, the airline from the islands of the Maldives southwest of India, has ordered two 72-600s and one 42-600. Maldivian order first 2022 sale for ATR.

The aircraft will be delivered this year and come with the new version of the Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine, the PW127XT that was launched at last November’s Dubai Airshow. The XT has a three percent better fuel efficiency over the previous PW127M and twenty percent lower maintenance costs.

The aircraft will be the first ATRs in Maldevian’s fleet. On its domestic network, it operates eight De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300s and two -200s, but they are nearing the end of their economic lives. The -200s are on average 24 years old, the -300s 22.1 years. The airline even still operates an almost 43-year-old Twin Otter. Its medium-haul fleet consists of an Airbus A320ceo and an A321ceo that are just over seventeen years old.

Managing Director Mohamed Mihad says in a media statement that the new aircraft are part of the airline’s “next step in our expansion plans with ATR.” Not only will the aircraft be more efficient, but thanks to the XT engines also be more sustainable.

ATR ended 2021 with 29 sales. Of these, 26 were 72-600s, including six for Sky Express, five for Air Corsica (the launch customer for the PW127XT), four for Binter, three each for Afrijet, and TAROM, plus five for undisclosed customers. The 42-600 sold three: one to Japan Air Commuter and two to undisclosed customers. It isn’t known if Maldivian was part of the ‘undisclosed’ orders.

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Richard Schuurman
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Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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