A regional airline based in Florida, United States, has begun operations using new ATR aircraft. The aircraft was delivered to Silver Airways, who began scheduled operations with the aircraft on Monday. The airline became the first US carrier to operate the new ATR-600 series aircraft.
ATR-600 series is a series of aircraft designed for shorter, regional hops. The aircraft has two propellers, both located on the wing above the fuselage. Competing with the Bombardier Dash-8, the ATR is ideally suited to smaller carriers relying on regional flights such as Channel Island based Aurigny.
Who is Silver Airways
Silver Airways was founded on in May 2011, while commencing operations on December 15th 2011. The airline was previously operating a fleet of Saab 340B only, each with 34 seats, with a total of 21 in its fleet. The airline is in the midst of receiving a number of ATR aircraft, which will eventually be phased in across its network.
Silver Airways operates predominantly around the state of Florida, with some out of state destinations too. As such, the airline has three Florida hubs; Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa. The airline is perfectly positioned for flights to the Bahamas and is the largest operator of flights to there from the US. Additionally, the regional airline has a number of codeshare and interline agreements with airlines ranging from ANA to United Airlines.
The ATR-600 series is currently on order by Silver Airways. While the airline has ordered 16 ATR 42-600 aircraft, it has only ordered four of the larger ATR 72-600. The larger ATR 72-600 seats a total of 70 passengers in Silver Airways’ configuration, which is over double that of the current Saab 340 aircraft.
The main ATR in Silver Airways’ fleet will be the smaller ATR 42-600. This smaller aircraft can carry 46 passengers. However, while the airline has only ordered 16, it has options for a further 30 aircraft of the type.
Silver Airways flew the inaugural flight of a -600 ATR in the US. The first flight departed from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 1040. After a short 1 hour 15 flight it landed at Key West International Airport at 1155. The flight was carried out on board an aircraft named “Mile Marker Zero”. Mile Marker Zero is a landmark at Key West and was chosen via a staff naming competition.
Speaking of the airline’s historic moment, CEO Steve Rossum said: “The new ATR-600 series aircraft will be transformational for Silver Airways and is ideal for our short-haul domestic and nearby international operations.”
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