Indonesia’s TransNusa is leasing three ATR 72-600 turboprops, part of the airline’s renewal and expansion plans. Currently operating three ATR 72-600 and one ATR 42, the domestic airline will also phase out two of BAE 146 and a Fokker 70 jets.

TransNusa managing director Bayu Sutanto told ATW the airline is still in discussions with lessors and has yet to confirm from whom will they lease the aircraft. He aims to have the first ATR 72 delivered by the third week of September this year.

Bayu added that with the new aircraft, the airline would be able to double its domestic route network to from 16 to around 30 destinations. Operating out from its hub in Kupang on Timor Island, TransNusa mostly service destinations in the Lesser Sunda Islands, but it will open new routes in the Kalimantan Island.

“The ATR aircraft are also important to our operation, because ATR aircraft can land and take off from runways that jet aircraft are unable to access,” he said. Less than half of the airports in the world’s largest archipelago are rated for jet operations, and the increased usage of turboprop airliners have ushered in new markets in Indonesia.

Bayu added that the reliability of the aircraft enabled the airline to be rated tops in on-time performance for the first half of this year, according to the Indonesia Directorate of Civil Aviation, which at the same time ensures high aircraft utility rate.

Chen Chuanren,