Greek airline SKY Express took the first step in its fleet renewal program this week. It took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 yesterday. The airline will use the new aircraft to strengthen its regional network connecting the smaller Greek islands.
The first of the airline’s new environmentally-friendly aircraft arrived in Athens yesterday, ready for its first commercial flight today. The regional aircraft (SX-ELV) will be used to connect the smaller Greek islands to the mainland and to other islands. The aircraft’s first flight with the airline demonstrated this by heading to Santorini this morning.
The Greek airline already operates a fleet including the ATR-500 series, so it was a logical next step to move to the more modern ATR-600. It also operates a fleet of brand-new Airbus A320neos as the airline looks to expand.
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The ATR 72-600
The airline selected the ATR-600 due to its fuel-saving economies as well as its ability to land and take-off from short runways. Many of the Greek islands have small airports with short runways which cannot be accessed by larger aircraft.
The ATR 72-600 has a take-off distance of just 1,279m (4,196ft) and a landing distance of 915m (3,002ft). According to modernairliners.com, by comparison, the airline’s new A320neos have a take-off distance of over 1,800m (5,997ft) and a landing distance of around 1,400m (4,593ft).
The aircraft can carry a maximum of 77 passengers, a total distance of 758NM (1,404KM).
A new era for SKY Express
The aircraft initially meant for the Tunisair express fleet will serve the airline’s 35 regional destinations. A more environmentally-friendly aircraft burns 40% less fuel and emits 40% fewer CO2 emissions.
Commenting on the arrival of the new aircraft, Mr. Theodoros Krokidas, Chairman of the Board of SKY Express, stated:
“At SKY express our commitment to a” cleaner” future for flights is perpetual. It is proven with our investments in new-generation aircraft that save fuel and reduce environmental footprint. We will continue to combine the joy of traveling with a policy that shows sensitivity and honors the trust of our customers.”
Boosting connections and going international
SKY Express is currently Greece’s fastest-growing airline. In February of this year, it announced its first international destination, Larnaca, Cyprus. Just five months later and the airline now operates flights to 48 destinations across nine different countries using its growing fleet. And the airline continues to defy current trends. It took delivery of six new Airbus A320neos in October. All six aircraft arrived at once and immediately joined the fleet working at boosting Greece’s connections.
The airline is now well-positioned to meet the demand for tourists looking for a summer spent island-hopping around the Greek islands. Its hub in Athens and its new base in Heraklion on the island of Crete also mean it is prepared to welcome international travelers.
What do you think of the airline’s latest addition? Do you think the airline will grow further over the coming months? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.