Air Tahiti expands fleet with additional ATR 72-600 & confirms order for 2 ATR 42-600S

An Air Tahiti ATR72-600 taking off.
Photo Credit: Garey via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The leading regional aircraft manufacturer ATR and airline Air Tahiti today announced the signing of a firm order for one ATR 72-600 and confirmed a deal for two ATR 42-600S – for ‘STOL’, Short Take-Off and Landing.

For over 65 years, Air Tahiti has been offering essential connectivity to the communities of French Polynesia. Strong supporter of the ATR for more than 30 years, operating a fleet of 10 aircraft, it became the launch customer of the ATR 42-600S at the Paris Air Show in 2019.

These additional aircraft will enable the airline to offer higher frequencies, but also higher capacity, as the ATR 42-600S will enable access to destinations with short runways, like Maupiti, using 100% of the aircraft load capacity.

Photo Credit: ATR

Air Tahiti statement

Manate Vivish, Air Tahiti’s General Manager, stated: “Air Tahiti has been supporting the social and economic development of French Polynesia for 65 years, offering its local communities a quick and affordable access to fresh produce, health, education and culture, whilst also boosting tourism.”

“Our ATR fleet has been instrumental in allowing us to achieve this essential mission, and will continue to be as we keep growing and offering further sustainable connectivity.”

ATR statement

“Renewed confidence from a long serving customer, such as Air Tahiti, is the best recognition of the efforts we are making every day to offer the most efficient, comfortable and sustainable regional aircraft, emitting 45% less CO2 than similar-size regional jets,” added Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer.

“At ATR, we invest in technology that brings affordable regional mobility while meeting stakeholders’ sustainable objectives – and the ATR 42-600S is a clear demonstration of this approach.”

There are 1,000 airports around the world with runways between 800 and 1,000m that the ATR 42-600S will be able to access. The manufacturer has started test flights earlier this year, and the first deliveries are expected for end 2024.

About Air Tahiti

Air Tahiti, the main carrier in French Polynesia, is covering a network as vast as Europe. Connecting Tahiti to the outer islands, for more than 60 years, our airline is following the paths of our Polynesian legendary heroes.

It is involved in reducing its impact on the environment and supports cultural as well as social actions for our communities in Tahiti and the other archipelagos.

Air Tahiti and its subsidiary Air Archipels presently operate a fleet made up of:

  • 7 ATR-72
  • 2 ATR-42
  • 3 Beechcraft King Air B200

Given the specific nature of its network, Air Tahiti chose the ATR as the aircraft best suited to the majority of its routes. Able to operate from airstrips under 1,200 m long (3,937 ft), the ATR 42 and ATR 72 offer service quality similar to that of jets, yet with much lower fuel consumption than other machines in the same category.

Air Tahiti regularly renews its ATRs in order to maintain its fleet in line with current standards of comfort and performance.

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