ATR-72-600 in Air New Zealand livery. Courtesy, ATR

Air New Zealand (NZ) has ordered seven ATR 72-600s, plus five options, in a deal worth $270 million at list prices. Deliveries will begin in October 2012 and are expected to be completed by 2016. 

NZ operates 11 ATR 72-500 aircraft through its subsidiary carrier, Mount Cook Airline. Wednesday’s announcement effectively doubles the airline’s ATR fleet, if all options are exercised. 

NZ CEO Rob Fyfe said the carrier needs to expand its fleet “not only to add frequencies on existing routes but to step up from smaller aircraft types.” He said the airline believes the ATR 72-600 is the “most cost-effective, environmentally conscious and customer-friendly aircraft available in its market segment.”