SINGAPOREIndia's Alliance Air has signed a deal with the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR for the acquisition of two ATR 42-600 via Dutch lessor TrueNoord. The first aircraft will be delivered in mid-2022.

The new turboprops are intended to support Alliance Air’s mission of serving challenging airfields in the Himalayas.

The former regional subsidiary of Air India, which already operates 18 ATR 72-600, has chosen to complement its fleet with brand new ATR 42s as it is the ideal aircraft to serve even the least accessible regions of India. The planes will be able to operate on the short runways of the Shimla and Kullu airports, both located at high altitudes, and exposed to high temperatures.

“Our relationship with ATR started 20 years ago, and ever since we have been building a network that truly serves Indian communities, delivering comfortable, reliable, and affordable air services. Thanks to the unique features of the ATR 42-600, Alliance Air will proudly fulfill the mission assigned by the Indian government to make the most inaccessible regions accessible,” Vineet Sood, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Air, said.

The high commonality between the ATR 72 and 42 will help make the introduction of this new aircraft type seamless. The airline will also continue to benefit from the manufacturer’s pay-by-the-hour maintenance program, the ATR GMA, to optimize its operations and maintenance activities.

“Renewed confidence from a historical customer is the best recognition of the efforts we are making every day to remain at the higher edge of technology whilst providing concrete solutions to operate the aircraft with the most sustainable business model. The fact that we will deliver the aircraft by the middle of this year is testament both to the recovery of the Indian domestic market and the essential need for affordable and reliable connectivity throughout the country,” ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli said.

In 2021, 40 new routes were created in India with ATR aircraft.