Southern African carrier Air Botswana has taken delivery of the first of two ATR 72-600 turboprops, which were ordered immediately before the Farnborough Air Show in July.

The second aircraft is planned for delivery before the end of the year.

The new aircraft will upgrade Air Botswana’s existing fleet of three ATR 42-500s and one ATR 72-500.

The new aircraft will be configured with a 70-seat, dual-class cabin and will be equipped with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N engine, which features a super-boost option that equates to carrying four more passengers than would otherwise be possible from hot-and-high airfields such as the Botswanan capital Gaborone and regional center Maun, as well as the biggest hub in southern Africa, Johannesburg.

“We have been using ATRs for over 20 years and are very satisfied with their operating results,” Air Botswana CEO Agnes Tsholofelo Khunwana said.

“The latest generation of ATRs will allow us to provide the highest standards of comfort, reliability and eco-efficiency to our customers. The ATR 72-600s have also remarkable performance in terms of fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, which is an important added value.”

Noting that more than 120 ATRs fly on the continent, ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli said that “ATR aims to play a major role in supporting local economies and social development for communities in Africa.”

ATR sees a demand for 300 new turboprops over the next 20 years for the Africa and Middle East region. 

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com