The Israeli airline Israir has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-500, of a total order of two. The aircraft, equipped with PW 127M engines, is configured to transport 72 passengers. It will be used to enhance the airline’s domestic network, adding to its current fleet of three ATR 42-320 and two Airbus A320 aircraft. The second ATR 72-500 is scheduled for delivery at the end of July.
The two ATR 72-500s will allow the airline to increase its capacity and the number of flights operating on its main route from Tel Aviv Sde Dov (City Airport) to Eilat (Red Sea Resort). The airline will also be able to increase the number of charter flights to other Mediterranean tourist destinations. Israir is part of IDB Tourism group, the tourism activities branch of the Israeli holding company IDB Holdings.
David Kaminitz, Chairman of Israir, has commented on this delivery, stating: “The entry into service of our new ATR 72-500 aircraft marks a new development phase for Israir and IDB Tourism. With these new aircraft, we will be able to offer a greater quality of service to our passengers, providing them with more choice and improved comfort. In addition, these 72-seat planes will enable us to reduce operating costs per seat”.
Filippo Bagnato, Chief Executive Officer of ATR, said: “We are pleased to be involved in the growth of Israir and to consolidate the presence of the ATR-500 in the Mediterranean region. In terms of domestic flights, ATR aircraft provide the optimum solution both in terms of operating costs and operational flexibility.”
About the ATR 72-500:
- Passenger capacity: 68 to 74 seats
- Engines: Pratt & Whitney 127M
- Maximum takeoff power: 2,750 HP per engine
- Maximum takeoff weight: 22,800 kg
- Maximum load: 7,000 kg
- Maximum IFR range with full passenger load: 824 nautical miles (1,526 km)
Israir was established in 1992 as a domestic airline operating short hauls and started offering flights from Tel Aviv and Haifa to Eilat. Since 1999, the airline has expanded its activity to include international destinations, mainly in Europe. The airline’s current fleet comprises two A-320s, one ATR 72-500 and three ATR 42-320 aircraft, while an additional ATR 72-500 will integrate its fleet at the end of July 2011. In 2006, Israir expanded its activities, branching into the tour-operator services market. In 2009, the control over Israir was transferred to IDB Tourism group, one of the leading tourism groups in Israel.
Founded in 1981, ATR has become the world manufacturing leader on the market for 50 to 74 seat regional turboprop aircraft. Since the start of the program, ATR has sold more than 1,100 aircraft to over 175 airlines based in 94 countries. ATR planes have totaled over 21 million flight hours. ATR is a fifty-fifty partnership between two major European aeronautics players, Alenia Aeronautica (a Finmeccanica Group company) and EADS. The head office is in Toulouse. ATR is ISO 14001-certified, the global benchmark for environmental management and sustainable development.