All four aircraft are scheduled for delivery between April and June, with Etihad Regional’s first ATR 72-500 due to arrive at the carrier’s Geneva International Airport main operating base on April 1.

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Malaysia Airlines has signed a firm order for 20 ATR 72-600s and optioned 16 additional aircraft, in a deal which ATR values at more than US$840 million if the carrier firms up all its options.

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At the delivery ceremony for the first of four ATR 72-600s leased from Air Lease Corporation, Passaredo revealed it had ordered 10 more ATR 72-600s directly from ATR and had taken options on 10 more. In addition to its ATR 72-600s, Passaredo will also take two leased ATR 72-500s this year.

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The inaugural flight of Virgin Australia’s first turboprop – and Australia ’s first ATR 72 – was also the airline’s first flight from Brisbane to the regional industrial city of Gladstone in Queensland. Virgin Australia flight DJ1711 departed Brisbane at 10.30 a.m. local time on October 17.

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European regional-turboprop manufacturer ATR has added two more new-order deals for its aircraft and converted a third existing commitment into a firm order, cementing a new annual ATR sales record in the process.

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Australian carrier Skywest Airlines has taken delivery of the first of at least eight new ATR 72s, the aircraft becoming the first ATR 72 to operate in Australia. Skywest will operate its new ATR fleet on behalf of Virgin Australia to create a regional-airline network for the larger carrier.

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Israir will use this and another ATR 72-500 it has ordered to increase its capacity and service frequency on its main domestic route from Tel Aviv Sde Dov Airport to the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

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The companies will create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic AB, to be 60 per cent-owned by Flybe and 40 per cent-owned by Finnair, to own Finncomm Airlines. The intention of Finnair and Flybe is to develop the joint venture to become the leading regional airline for all the Nordic and Baltic countries.

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With the delivery of the new 20 ATR 72-500s, UTair will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in Europe, with 37 in its fleet.

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On its fuselage, the aircraft promotes FEMAMA, a Brazilian non-profit organization dedicated to fighting breast cancer. In addition, ATR and its suppliers involved in delivery of the aircraft will contribute funds for the Toulouse Cancer Campus.

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American Eagle is operating 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets on the DFW-Veracruz route and using 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135 regional jets for its DFW-Queretaro flights. Eagle is flying its Joplin-DFW route with 64-seat ATR 72-500 turboprops.

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American Eagle Airlines is launching nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Missouri beginning February 10, 2011.

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Turboprop regional-airliner manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional has announced a clutch of orders for its new ATR 72-600 and its existing ATR 72-500 turboprop models, both of which seat up to 70 passengers.

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