09 February 2020

Farewell to Air New Zealand's 500 Series ATRs

Today marks the final day of service of Air New Zealand’s Aerospatiale-Alenia ATR 72-212A, or more simply the 500 series ATR72s. The ATRs were, until December last year, operated by Mount Cook Airlines. In total there were eleven 500s in the fleet flying Air New Zealand services.

The 500 series, replaced the 200 servies with the first, ZK-MCA, arriving in October 1999. Six more followed arriving between November 1999 and February 2000. ZK-MCW was added to the fleet in September 2000, ZK-MCX in July 2002, ZK-MCY in February 2003 and ZK-MCC in November 2004. 

The 500 series ATRs are being replaced by the 600 series.

Five have already left the fleet. Four have gone to Novoair in Bangladesh. In August 2017 ZK-MCA left to become S2-AHQ; In January 2018 ZK-MCW left to become S2-AJK; In May 2018 ZK-MCF left to become S2-AJL; In November 2019 ZK-MCX left to become S2-AJM. One still graces New Zealand skies; ZK-MCO left the fleet and went to Air Chathams in February 2019.

In the last week of services only one aircraft was rostered to fly each day. 

The last flights flown for each aircraft still in the fleet were as follows;

ZK-MCB on 22 January as NZ5708, Invercargill-Christchurch 
ZK-MCC on 26 October 2019 as NZ5750 from Dunedin-Christchurch
ZK-MCJ on 4 February as NZ5781, Rotorua-Christchurch
ZK-MCU on 4 February as NZ5367, Wellington-Christchurch
ZK-MCP on 7 February as NZ5623, Hamilton-Christchurch

Today, the 9th of February 2020, the last day of the ATR 72-500s in service, the following final sectors were operated with ZK-MCY being the last ATR 72-500 on duty...

NZ5742 Dunedin - Christchurch
NZ5618 Christchurch - Hamilton
NZ5621 Hamilton - Christchurch
NZ5378 Christchurch - Wellington
NZ5383 Wellington - Christchurch

The ATR 72-500 Fleet

ZK-MCA (c/n 597)

ZK-MCA about to depart Wellington on 26 October 2014

ZK-MCB (c/n 598)

The only ATR 72-500 I didn't fly in - ZK-MCB at Hamilton on 3 June 2019 after being pressed back into service

ZK-MCC (c/n 714)

ZK-MCC about to roll at Nelson on 22 January 2014

ZK-MCF (c/n 600)

ZK-MCO at Auckland on 21 June 2008

ZK-MCJ (c/n 624)

ZK-MCJ at Dunedin on 28 September 2019

ZK-MCO (c/n 628)

ZK-MCO at Christchurch on 31 August 2006

ZK-MCP (c/n 630)

ZK-MCP at Auckland on 29 November 2015

ZK-MCU (c/n 632)

ZK-MCU at Auckland on 7 January 2017

ZK-MCW (c/n 646)

ZK-MCW at Auckland on 28 November 2015

ZK-MCX (c/n 687)

ZK-MCX waiting for a gate at Auckland on 3 August 2013.

ZK-MCY (c/n 703)

ZK-MCY  at Auckland on 13 April 2013 


  1. One has to wonder if Air Chathams will add another ATR to their fleet?

  2. ZK-MCC's final service was on 26Oct19 from DUD-CHC NZ5750.