ILA: InterSky foresees move to all-ATR fleet

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Austrian regional carrier InterSky expects eventually to switch to a single-type ATR fleet, having opted for the European turboprop over the rival Bombardier Q400.

InterSky is taking two 70-seat ATR 72-600s which will be acquired by investment group, and significant shareholder, Intro.

Renate Moser, who jointly runs InterSky with managing director Peter Oncken, says that the speed of the Q400 is "fantastic" but adds: "You don't earn one euro more, and you burn a lot more fuel."

She says that the carrier also had concerns about the type's reliability.

"We evaluated both aircraft very closely," she says. "We came to the conclusion that, if [we're taking] a new one, it has to be the ATR."

Moser adds that InterSky will retain its current Bombardier Q300s for the time being, adding that the 50-seat type can be used for "special purposes" and to open new markets.

"There's less risk with 50 seats than 70," she says.

Oncken states that the ATR is economically "far ahead" of the Q400, in terms of operating costs, purchase price and other factors, given the nature of InterSky's operations.

While the two-type fleet might be perceived as a disadvantage, he says that there are "not so many costs" involved - the small airline has no problem maintaining separate cockpit crews while flight attendants can easily be switched between the aircraft.

But he also foresees a switch to an all-ATR fleet in around three to five years.

The new ATR 72-600s will be stationed at the carrier's operating base at Friedrichshafen and provide additional capacity on key routes such as Berlin and Dusseldorf.

Intro owns about half of InterSky. Oncken is a 25% shareholder of the carrier while the other 25% is held by Rolf Seewald.