Taiwanese carrier Mandarin Airlines has ordered six ATR 72-600s, valued at $160 million at current list prices. The airline is a new customer for the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer.

Mandarin Airlines is a regional subsidiary of Taiwanese flag carrier China Airlines.

The new aircraft will operate on Taiwan’s domestic network, in what ATR describes as a competitive and highly challenging market.

The first aircraft will be delivered in 2018 and will be outfitted in a single-class, 70-seat configuration.

“China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines … have conducted a very thorough and comprehensive evaluation of alternatives for their regional network in Taiwan,” ATR CEO Christian Scherer said. “The outcome proves once again that when assessed competitively, the ATR 72-600 logically prevails in the eyes of the most discerning airlines. We look forward to our partnership with Mandarin, and to supporting a stellar operation.”

ATR has said it is also willing to provide engineering and technical support to China Airlines and its subsidiaries to set up in-house capabilities for ATR heavy maintenance, up to C checks.

Mandarin Airlines’ website lists its current fleet as six Embraer E190 regional jets, but notes it also leases aircraft as large as the Boeing 747-400 for international and cross-straits routes to the People’s Republic of China.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com