Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has taken delivery of the first two of 15 Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop regional airliners it ordered in December 2010.
“SpiceJet’s order was a breakthrough for our Q400 NextGen turboprop in the Indian market, and Bombardier’s portfolio of commercial aircraft and customer services continues to be well positioned to support the development of India’s airline network,” said Chet Fuller, senior vice president of sales, marketing and asset management for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Fuller spoke during a hand-over ceremony held for SpiceJet on August 26 at Bombardier Aerospace’s Toronto facility, where the Q400 NextGen aircraft is manufactured.
SpiceJet will use its Q400 NextGen aircraft for high-frequency, point-to-point services to regional cities, complementing its larger jets which connect major Indian cities. SpiceJet currently serves 22 destinations in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
“As India experiences substantial growth, many cities and industrial towns remain underserved,” said Kalanithi Maran, chairman of SpiceJet. “SpiceJet is focused on connecting these burgeoning areas with more than 60 airports that could not be served by larger jets. After an evaluation of all the aircraft in the 60- to 80-seat category, we selected the Q400 NextGen aircraft, which combines excellent reliability, economics and passenger comfort.”
SpiceJet has also signed a 10-year agreement under Bombardier’s comprehensive SmartParts program that will provide a wide spectrum of cost-per-flight-hour maintenance for the airline’s full fleet of Q400 NextGens.
“The fact that we will be able to proactively budget for traditionally variable expenses and count on optimal repair turnaround times under Bombardier’s SmartParts program is another significant advantage,” said Neil Mills, SpiceJet’s chief executive officer.
Optimized for short-haul operations, the 70- to 80-seat Bombardier Q400 NextGen is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop. Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 412 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, and as of April 30, 2011, 357 had been delivered.
Bombardier Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, which are in service with more than 30 operators worldwide, have transported more than 167 million passengers and have logged more than 3 million flight hours and more than 3.3 million take-offs and landings.