Tarom (RO, Bucharest Otopeni) is set to acquire nine ATR72-600s, Romanian Transport Minister Răzvan Cuc has announced.

In a social media post, Cuc said the Avions de Transport Régional turboprops would be used to replace the state-owned carrier's existing fleet of seven ATR42-500s (average around 21 years of age) and two ATR72-500s (which average 10 years of age) used on domestic Romanian routes as well as shorthaul regional flights from Bucharest Otopeni to Turkey, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Greece, and Bulgaria.

"Besides developing airports around the country, we also want Tarom to become Romanians' best and most preferred airline," he said.

"The new aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art navigation equipment, the passenger cabin will be modern, quiet, and have increased baggage storage capacity and improved fuel consumption. With the same type of aircraft, flight and technical crews will no longer need significant conversion training. The aeroplanes will also benefit from a five-year warranty, which in practice will foresee no additional maintenance costs. All the efforts and investments we are making today are made for Romanians and for Romania, as we have promised."

In a follow-up interview with Antena 3 television, Cuc said the first ATRs would arrive between October this year and January next year. As part of the deal, the older ATRs will be sold back to the manufacturer.