Aerlink (Brisbane International) is inducting its first ATR72-200(F), having ferried VH-AK3 (msn 467) to Australia in January. The carrier secured the 28.4-year-old aircraft, last operated as TR-XCL for Solenta Aviation Gabon (SVG, Libreville Leon M'Ba), on operating lease from ACIA Aero.

The Queensland charter specialist operates six passenger-configured ATR72-500s, but until now, did not deploy the ATR72 freighter type. It has previously operated ATR42-300(F) and ATR42-320(F) types. The ch-aviation fleets shows an ATR42-300F, VH-YWU (msn 79), remains with Aerlink but has not flown since late August and is now at Cairns for maintenance purposes.

An Aerlink spokeswoman told ch-aviation that VH-AK3 comes on a five-year lease and will be based at Krasnoyarsk Cheremshanka. The aircraft is expected to start flying Northern Queensland routes from May 1, 2024.

Aerlink's business model provides mining and resource sector customers with fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) capacity. The carrier's main bases are at Brisbane and Perth International. Aerlink is the only all-ATR - Avions de Transport Régional airline in Australia, and says the type is well suited for sectors too short for the DHC-8 to operate efficiently on.