Mumbai-based Jet Airways will the first Indian carrier to induct the new ATR 72-600 series turbo-prop aircraft into their fleet, with five aircraft, starting this month and completing in March 2013.
The Franco-Italian ATR (Avions de Transport Régional) 72-600 is an upgrade from the existing ATR72-500 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, and will be used for connectivity to smaller Tier II and III cities like Bhuj, Porbandar, and Udaipur, from Mumbai. It will seat 68 passengers, (up from 62 in the ATR72-500), in an all economy layout.
Compared to the ATR 72-500, which uses 50 per cent analog and 50 per cent digital instruments, the ATR 72-600 has an enhanced full-glass cockpit equipped with the latest navigation aid tools.
The new aircraft also features electronic check lists which eliminates paper in cockpit, replacing the current paper-based documents and maps. Pilots will have at their fingertips moving maps, graphical weather forecasts, terrain mapping and a variety of aviation data and function avionics display units are similar to those features in the Airbus 380 aircraft.
The new PW127M engines provide better performances in “hot and/or high” environments typical of most Indian airports, and the aircraft has also a boost function for short runways.
From a passenger viewpoint, the new ATR 72-600 is equipped with a new cabin, named Armonia and designed by the famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was named car designer of the century in 1999. It has LED lightening, larger and thinner seats for more legroom and larger overhead bins.
Jet Airways has a total of 107 commanders and 114 first officers for the ATR fleet out of which 55 pilots, at present, are undergoing training on this new aircraft.