Hawaiian Airlines' first ATR 72 freighter is likely to enter service by the “middle of summer”, says Empire Airlines chief executive Timothy Komberec.

Idaho-based Empire has the three freighters at its Coeur d’Alene airport facilities undergoing modifications and certification, he says at the ISTAT Americas conference in Phoenix.

The remaining two aircraft are expected to enter service before the end of 2016, adds Komberec.

Empire will operate the three ATR 72 freighters for Hawaiian, as it does three ATR 42s under the Honolulu-based carrier’s feeder brand Ohana.

Hawaiian bought the three used ATR 72-200 freighters in 2015. Two aircraft (MSN 423 and 432) were bought from Canada-based First Air and one (MSN 227) was bought from South Africa-based Solenta Aviation, Flightglobal’s Fleets Analzyer shows.

The First Air aircraft are both 1994 vintage and the Solenta aircraft is 1991 vintage, according to Fleets Analyzer.

Empire’s Ohana operations, which began in 2014, are going well, says Komberec. He points to the fact that Hawaiian is expanding its contract with the regional operator with the freighter aircraft as an example of this.

Source: Cirium Dashboard