The order brings to 20 the total number of ATR turboprop regional airliners ordered by Singapore-based Avation PLC since early 2011. In addition, Avation holds options and purchase rights on a number of additional aircraft.

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Singapore-based leasing company Avation PLC has ordered five more ATR 72-600 regional turboprops for Australia’s Skywest Airlines, which will operate the aircraft on a range of Australian domestic routes on behalf of Virgin Australia.

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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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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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