Regional airline operator Silver Airways has secured certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) for its new ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Designed especially for short-haul markets, the 70-seater aircraft has the same appearance and customer services as that of larger jetliners. It has been christened as ‘Rocket City’.

The carrier’s ATR 72-600 has already completed the first commercial flight from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) last weekend.

Silver Airways will operate the new aircraft to and from destinations in Florida and the Bahamas. It is also expected to expand deployment to Caribbean routes by next year.

Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum said: “This is an exciting time for Silver Airways and regional airline flying as we continue our fleet transformation and focus on providing the highest level of safe, reliable and customer-focused service.

“Starting operations of the new ATR 72-600 aircraft is another great milestone for Silver Airways, ATR, our customers, our airline partners, the communities we serve and our team members.

“The ATR 42-600 has been well received and highly praised by our customers and team members this year, and we’re looking forward to even further expanding our world-class service with extended reach in the South-East US and Caribbean with the new larger ATR 72-600.”

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Earlier this year, the operator launched its 46-seat ATR 42-600 aircraft.

Silver is also the first among the US carriers to operate the new ATR-600 series aircraft.

The operator has so far received six ATR 42-600s and one ATR 72-600 of up to 50 ATR-600s. The ATR 72-600 aircraft reduces CO2 emissions by 40% compared with a regional jet.