Silver Airways Debuts North America’s First ATR 72-600

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Silver Airways has become the first North American operator of the ATR 72-600. The Florida based airline began services with the 70 seat aircraft within Florida at the weekend.

Silver Airways, ATR 72-600, first flight
The aircraft that made the maiden flight, as seen at this year’s Paris Air Show. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Silver Airways has a total of 50 ATR aircraft on order. This consists of both the smaller 42 and the larger 72 models. The airline has already taken delivery of the smaller ATR 42-600. However, now the airline has received its first of the larger ATR aircraft. The aircraft will be used to serve destinations within Florida and the Bahamas.

Florida based airline

Silver Airways bills itself as “America’s leading independent airline”. The airline currently flies to a range of destinations both within Florida, and slightly further afield to destinations in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Silver Airways has also partnered with a number of other airlines, launching codeshare agreements with both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines recently.

Silver Airways, ATR72-600, First Flight
The propeller aircraft holds 70 passengers. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Silver Airways has placed orders for 50 of the ATR-600 family. This consists of both the smaller ATR 42 and the larger ATR 72. While so far the airline had only received the ATR 42-600 to date, it has now received its first ATR 72-600.

The ATR 72 aircraft took an interesting delivery route to Florida. Rather than heading around the north of the Atlantic and stopping in Iceland, Greenland and Canada, the aircraft went south. After departing Toulouse, the aircraft went island hopping down the side of Africa. The aircraft then flew across the Atlantic to Natal in Brazil, before heading back up to Florida.

Inside the ATR

Both of the aircraft come in a 2-2 configuration, however, the lengths are slightly different. While the ATR 42 holds 46 passengers in Silver Airways’ chosen configuration, the ATR 72 holds slightly more passengers at a capacity of 70.

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With a 32 inch pitch, the passengers will have more than enough comfort for short to medium-haul flights. The airline says that this cabin layout is suitable for both leisure and business routes, both domestically, and slightly further afield to its destinations in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Silver Airways, ATR72-600, first flight
The aircraft wears a stunning pink livery! Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Maiden voyage

The first route operated by the Silver Airways ATR 72-600 was a domestic flight wholly within Florida. It saw the aircraft flying from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Pensacola International Airport (PNS).

Unfortunately, the maiden flight of North America’s first ATR 72-600 didn’t get off to the best start. The aircraft, registered as N700SV, departed from Tampa 32 minutes late at 08:52. Fortunately, it was able to make up some lost time landing at 09:17, just 17 minutes behind schedule.

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Discussing the aircraft, ATR’s CEO, Stefano Bortoli said: “In addition, it is an eco-responsible aircraft that emits 40 percent less CO2 compared to a regional jet, which is making a real difference. As the leading regional aviation manufacturer, we know how tough it is for regional airlines.”

Have you flown on an ATR aircraft? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

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