Virgin Australia Plots First ATR Routes

 - August 27, 2011, 5:10 AM

Virgin Australia will introduce its first ATR turboprops under a new regional alliance with Perth-based Skywest starting in October, the company announced in late July. By the end of the year it expects to field four out of 18 of the 68-seat turboprops acquired under a 10-year lease from Australia’s Aviation. From the outset, Virgin Australia plans to open new service from Brisbane to Port Macquarie and Gladstone and replace Embraer E170s with the ATRs on its Sydney to Port Macquarie route. Under the alliance, Skywest will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Virgin Australia.