Tonga and Nepal to take six MA60 turboprops

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Tonga and Nepal have agreed to take on six Xian MA60 turboprops.

AVIC Aircraft, which represented the two countries, signed an agreement with manufacturer Xian Aircraft in early April. It is unclear whether the aircraft are being leased or bought.

The turboprops are suitable for use on domestic routes in Tonga and Nepal because the countries are located in complex geographical environments although their land areas are not large, says Xian Aircraft.

The airframer adds that it has since sold 200 MA family aircraft to operators in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The MA60 and its newer model MA600 have mostly been sold to airline customers in developing countries. Several militaries of third world countries have also bought the aircraft.

Xian Aircraft is now working on the development of the MA700 regional turboprop, which will have the capacity to seat between 70 and 90 people. AVIC is aiming for the type to receive certification from both the Civil Aviation Authority of China and the US Federal Aviation Administration by 2017.