Start-Ups Hi Air purchases two ATR 72

South Korean Start-Up airline Hi Air has signed a purchase deal to buy two ATR 72 Turboprop aircraft.

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Aircraft manufacturer ATR has released, that South Korean Start-Up airline Hi Air has signed a purchase agreement for two ATR 72 aircraft. With this order, the airline will double its fleet as it is continuing with its growth.

Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled for August and October. Hi Air is already using ATR 72-500 aircraft since the start of operations in December 2019. The airline is operating routes within the country and is planning to add five additional destinations this summer. ATR aircraft are proven route openers, in 2019 164 routes were opened with ATR aircraft.

The decision to start new domestic services could be a smart move, as the domestic aviation market is likely to make a faster recovery, as short haul flights are the first ones that are being resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, Hi Air continued to serve passengers and ensured connectivity to Korean communities.

Hyung Kwan Youn, Chief Executive Officer of Hi Air remarked: “Selecting the ATR 72 to begin operations has been important for Hi Air’s early success. Launching an airline is hugely challenging. To be successful, new airlines need an aircraft that is efficient, reliable and offers passengers a good in-flight experience. To be in a position already to expand our operations is because the ATR fulfils these criteria. At Hi Air, we believe that increasing regional connectivity in Korea will benefit passengers, communities and businesses and we look forward to continuing this mission with the support of ATR.”

ATR Senior Vice President Commercial, Fabrice Vautier, added: “Regional connectivity is more vital than ever and this is why the regional aviation segment will be resilient. In many countries, we are already seeing that domestic and regional routes are the first to return and in the case of Hi Air they continued to fly. Businesses, governments and people around the world are looking for solutions to this crisis and regional aviation has a key role to play.”

Hi Air has currently its main hub at Ulsan Airport. The carrier operates passenger services to Gimpo International Airport and Yeosu International Airport. With the new routes, the airline will extend its domestic network. Hi Air is expected to perform flights to the popular Jeju Island as well.

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