Air New Zealand is in the process of fitting the 11 ATR 72-500s with the Armonia interior developed for the -600 series of the turboprop family.
The interior, created by Italian design house Giugiaro, is intended to boost durability and recyclability while reducing fuel burn through the use of lightweight materials.
Mount Cook Airline has operated 11 ATR 72-500s for Air New Zealand since 1999.
New Zealand's flag carrier placed a firm order for seven ATR 72-600s in October 2011 and received the first, configured with 68 seats, in October 2012. It now operates there and will take another in November. The deliveries will be completed in 2016.
Citing positive customer reaction to the -600 interior, Air New Zealand is installing the Armonia interior on Mount Cook’s ATR 72-500s as part of mid-life upgrades to be completed by mid-November. It estimates that the slimline "Geven" seats will deliver a weight saving of 140kg per aircraft.
Air New Zealand estimates the cost of the interior conversion programme at NZ$3.4 million ($2.9 million), and that it involves 250h of labour per aircraft.
A second global navigation satellite system is also being installed on each aircraft's flightdeck. This requires an additional 120h of work.
Additionally, C-checks are being conducted on the aircraft.
Air New Zealand says it is now looking at aligning the interiors of its Bombardier Q300s and Beech 1900Ds with the rest of the fleet.