Mandarin Airlines (AE, Taichung Ching Chuan Kang) has taken delivery of its first of nine ATR72-600s. B-16851 (msn 1460) was positioned to the Far East this past weekend following a handing-over ceremony at Toulouse Blagnac on Friday, November 24.

The China Airlines (CI, Taipei Taoyuan) unit will take delivery of six aircraft, ordered direct from Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac), with three more to be leased from Avation. Deliveries will run from now through to 2020.

"These aircraft will enable Mandarin Airlines to operate domestic flights with higher efficiency and more profitability," Jenny Tsao, President of Mandarin Airlines said. "With ATR 72-600s joining the fleet, Mandarin Airlines will significantly increase the flight frequencies on each domestic route and then introduce some potential new sectors afterwards."

It is uncertain as to when the aircraft will begin commercial flights given they will first have to complete scrutinization with the Taiwanese Civil Aeronautics Administration (TwCAA) before being added to Mandarin Airlines' operations specifications. Although it took delivery of its first ATR72-600 back in July, rival operator Far Eastern Air Transport (FE, Taipei Sung Shan) was only able to deploy the type into service in mid-November given the lengthy TwCAA induction process.