Air Dolomiti to retire ATR fleet in October

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Italian regional carrier Air Dolomiti plans to retire its ATR 72s by the end of October, as parent company Lufthansa consolidates its regional fleet.

The Verona-based airline operates four ATR 72-500 turboprops and 10 Embraer 195s, with half of the regional jets having been delivered between January and May 2013.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, Air Dolomiti has 11 ATR 72-500s - the majority of which are being stored.

The four active turboprops will be retired at the end of the summer schedule in late October, says the airline, with future operations being based entirely on the E-195s.

This comes after Lufthansa ended its partnerships with German regional carriers Contact Air and Augsburg Airways, partly to reduce aircraft type variety in the fleet.

Defunct Contact Air had Fokker 100s, while Augsburg Airways operates Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s as well as one E-190 and five E-195s, with the latter being leased from Lufthansa.

Augsburg Airways will cease operations after the partnership with the mainline carrier ends on 26 October 2013.

Air Dolomiti continues to operate routes under Lufthansa flight codes from Italian cities to the parent's hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

But the regional airline says that it also started flights under its own code in January, which it markets independently from the parent group.

The respective routes are from Bari, Florence, Venice and Verona to Munich.

Air Dolomiti's services from Verona to Vienna and Zurich have been closed, however.