Aegean Airlines (A3, Athens) has acquired three second-hand ATR72-600s from Avation ahead of its planned launch of the type's operations in the first quarter of 2022.

The Singaporean lessor said the transaction covers three ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops returned by Virgin Australia Regional (VA, Perth International) during its voluntary administration restructuring in 2020. While neither Avation nor Aegean Airlines responded to ch-aviation's request for clarification, the ch-aviation fleets module indicates that Avation owns five ex-Virgin Australia ATR72-600s:

  • VH-FVN (msn 1039) and VH-FVP (msn 1025) stored at Mareeba,
  • VH-FVQ (msn 1053) and VH-FVR (msn 1058) stored at Cairns, and
  • VH-FVY (msn 1073) stored at Nelson, NZ.

All aircraft are 2012 builds, except for VH-FVY, which was delivered in 2013. Virgin Australia retired all five at the end of March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic grounded most of the Australian commercial aviation industry and before Virgin Australia Holdings entered into administration in April 2020.

The lessor said the aircraft would be delivered to Aegean Airlines "over the coming months" subject to customary conditions for the transaction's closing. While Aegean Airlines has filed schedules suggesting a complete roll-over from its current fleet of eight DHC-8-Q400s (equally operated by subsidiary Olympic Air) to ATR72-600s as of March 27, 2022, it has yet to confirm how many ATRs in total it will operate. ch-aviation research has revealed that the airline will also add at least one ex-Stobart Air ATR72-600 in the form of EI-FNA (msn 1325), a 5.6-year-old turboprop owned by GECAS and managed by AerCap.

Avation's portfolio comprises twenty-three ATR72-600s, the ch-aviation fleets ownership module shows. The lessor also owns five ATR72-500s, which were all leased to Virgin Australia - four of them have since been placed with new operators (three with Hevilift Australia (Brisbane International) and one with flybig (FLG, Indore)). In August 2021, Avation disclosed it had outstanding claims of AUD101.4 million Australian dollars (USD74.1 million) against Virgin Australia related to five ATR72-600 leases, as well as six ATR72-500s and two Fokker 100s.

The remaining three ATR72-600s previously operated by Virgin Australia were leased from Chorus Aviation Capital and will be delivered to Emerald Airlines (Ireland) (EA, Dublin International).