Romanian carrier start-up AirConnect has received delivery of its first ATR 72-600 short-haul regional twin-engine turboprop aircraft. 

According to flight history found on Flightradar24.com, the first AirConnect ATR 72-600 turboprop landed at the airline’s main base at Bucharest Băneasa International Airport (BBU) on July 7, 2022, at 6:55 p.m. (UTC), from Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland, where the plane has been temporarily stored while waiting for its new owner.  

The 7.9-year-old AirConnect aircraft, leased from Dublin-based leasing company Aergo Capital, currently holds registration number M-ABPU, and will soon receive its new registration YR-ACA, according to Planespotters.com data. 

“It is perhaps the most important moment in the history of AirConnect. The story of our company was born as a dream, then turned into a promise to our passengers and partners, and today, with the arrival of the first ATR 72 - 600 aircraft, it becomes a reality,” Tudor Constantinescu, General Manager of AirConnect stated in a post published on the carrier’s LinkedIn page.  

“AirConnect is a team of professionals dedicated to the aviation industry who nurture the desire to develop a solid airline, able to become the first travel option on the regional flight segment,” Constantinescu added. 

The newcomer aims to launch charter flights this summer. 

Established at the end of 2021, AirConnect aims to become one of the major turboprop operators in the region. The airline said it will start operating domestic routes in autumn 2022. 

AirConnect’s initial network of domestic operations will provide connectivity services between the country’s regional airports and nearby hubs. The first cities targeted are Bucharest (BBU), Oradea (OMR), Arad (ARW), and Timisoara (TSR) as well as Craiova (CRA), Targu Mures (TGM), Sibiu (SBZ) and Baia Mare (BAY). 

AirConnect had initially planned to launch its services in May 2022 but, due to undisclosed reasons, the launch has been postponed until the summer. 

The airline is now waiting for delivery of the second ATR 72-600 aircraft, which is scheduled to arrive in autumn 2022. Another two planes are expected to join the AirConnect fleet in 2023. 

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