Mongolia's Eznis delays getting ATR 42

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Mongolian carrier Eznis Airways still plans to add its first ATR 42-500 but has delayed the move by about six months and it might get a used example rather than a new one.

Eznis CEO Glen Pickard told ATI in January it planned to order a new ATR 42-500 and hoped to have it in operation at the end of May when the northern summer travel season commences.

But today he says the depressed tourism market has meant Eznis has decided to delay getting the ATR 42-500 until the fourth quarter.

Pickard also says the airline has been examining used examples of ATR 42-500s and it might opt for a used rather than a new aircraft.

"ATR are moving up to the -600 model so I'm told some carriers are looking to go to the -600 so more -500s will be becoming available," says Pickard, who rules out getting the older -300 model.

He says earlier this year it did consider getting a fourth Saab 340 but decided "we really need a 50-seat aircraft" because there will be more mining charter work in future and these clients need 50-seat aircraft.

Several mining companies will soon be signing agreements with the Mongolian Government, adds Pickard.

Eznis already does mining charter work for Canada's South Gobi Sands and Ivanhoe Mines.