Indian carrier IndiGo has received its first turboprop, an ATR 72-600.
The low-cost operator earlier this year signed an agreement to acquire 50 of the aircraft.
ATR says IndiGo's introduction of a turboprop fleet is "in line with the Indian government's regional connectivity scheme, which aims to boost economic development, employment and tourism by connecting small and remote cities".
As part of the scheme, "100 new airports are expected to be created in the next three years", notes ATR.
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh states that the ATR 72-600's arrival takes the airline "one step closer to the launch of our turboprop operations by the end of this year".
Ghosh foresees the aircraft "bringing the reliability and efficiency of IndiGo's operations" to towns and regions thus far "devoid of reliable air service" or "subject to exorbitant airfares".
ATR chief executive Christian Scherer highlights India's "rapidly expanding domestic market" which "represented close to 100 million passengers last year and has been steadily growing by more than 20% annually".
He adds: "As the country is expected to become the world's third-largest market by 2020, we are proud of playing a key role in such an expansion of the air connectivity."
Source: Cirium Dashboard