Bombardier Aerospace has confirmed Ethiopian Airlines to be the customer which placed a firm order for five Q400 NextGen regional airliners on February 13, 2012.
Two of the five fast-turboprop aircraft will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines and three by its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo.
Ethiopian Airlines, the flag carrier of Ethiopia and one of Africa’s leading airlines, serves 64 international destinations. The order announced on February 16 will increase the number of Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliners purchased by Ethiopian Airlines to 13.
Based on the list price for the Q400 NextGen airliner, Bombardier Aerospace values the transaction at approximately US$160 million.
“The Q400 NextGen airliner has fully met our expectations for economics, performance and passenger acceptance,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines. “Of great importance to us is the aircraft’s high rate of climb, single-engine service ceiling and higher take-off weight, thus greater payload, when operating from our high altitude-hot weather airports.”
“Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have been gaining headway in Africa, where Ethiopian Airlines and 10 other operators now have more than 40 of these aircraft in service or on firm order,” said Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Q400 aircraft are proving their high value in both the arid environment of Northern Africa and the moist environment in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Altogether, more than 200 Bombardier CRJ-series regional jets and Q-series turboprops are on firm order or in service in Africa and the Middle East.
According to Bombardier, the Bombardier Q400 NextGen uses 30 to 40 per cent less fuel and produces 30 to 40 per cent less emissions on routes where it has replaced similar-capacity, older jets. The Q400 NextGen is also 15 decibels quieter than ICAO Chapter 4 noise standards.
This year a Bombardier Q400 will be flown using fuel from an oilseed crop as part of a biofuel test program that was announced in 2010.
Including the transaction announced on February 16, Bombardier has booked firm orders for 418 Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops, with 389 delivered as of December 31, 2011.
Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, which are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries on six continents, have transported more than 177 million passengers and have logged more than 3.2 million flight hours and more than 3.5 million take-offs and landings.