Etihad Regional to introduce ATRs from April

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Middle Eastern operator Etihad Airways' regional European division is to take delivery of four ATR 72-500s in April-June, increasing the airline's fleet to a dozen aircraft.

The introduction follows an agreement, revealed earlier this year, to lease the type from Nordic Aviation Capital.

Etihad Regional, which emerged from Darwin Airline following investment by the Abu Dhabi-based flag-carrier, currently uses Saab 2000 turboprops exclusively.

The ATRs will be configured with 68 seats and used to expand the carrier's route network.

"It is part of our strategy of matching our growing network and frequency requirements with the right aircraft," says Etihad Regional chief Maurizio Merlo. "Choosing ATR for this transaction is a logical step."

Crew recruitment for the additional turboprops has begun, the airline says. It will hire 40 cabin crew and 32 pilots.