Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has won firm sales on March 31 from three airlines for three more CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and four more Q400 NextGen turboprop regional airliners, and has booked options on four more Q400 NextGens.
China Express Airlines has converted previously announced conditional purchase agreements for three Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets into a firm order.
Meanwhile, Nok Air, a low-cost carrier based in Thailand, has converted previously booked options on two Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops to firm orders.
Also on March 31, new Bombardier Q-family customer Hawaii Island Air, Inc. (Island Air) has placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has also taken options on eight more.
China Express Airlines and the manufacturer originally announced conditional purchase agreements for five Bombardier CRJ900 NextGens, together with options on an additional eight, on December 2, 2013, along with a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGens.
Based on list price, Bombardier Aerospace values China Express Airlines’ new firm order for the three CRJ900 NextGen regional jets at approximately US$136 million.
“China Express’ CRJ900 NextGen regional jets have proven to be highly reliable and efficient following their introduction to our fleet in 2012 and our company has entered a rapid expansion period,” says Wu Longjiang, president of China Express Airlines.
“With its outstanding 99.67 per cent dispatch reliability and unmatched fuel efficiency, the CRJ900 NextGen airliner has surpassed our expectations,” adds Wu. “According to our business plan, we intend to be flying an all-Bombardier fleet of 29 aircraft by 2016. That’s just 10 years after we started operations and is an indication of the high productivity of the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft.”
China Express Airlines, based in Chongqing, provides regional passenger services to 44 cities throughout China with its fleet of five Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets and nine 84-seat CRJ900 NextGens. The airline was the first to operate the CRJ900 in the People’s Republic of China.
In total, Bombardier Aerospace has recorded firm orders for 1,817 CRJ Series aircraft, including 344 CRJ900s and CRJ900 NextGens.
New Q400 NextGen customer Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional airline and second-oldest carrier. Its Q400 NextGens will be delivered with dual-class, 71-seat cabin interiors.
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen, Bombardier Aerospace values Island Air’s firm order at approximately US$60.9 million. The list-price value could increase to US$188 million should Island Air exercise all its options, according to Bombardier.
“As part of our ongoing restructuring and expansion strategy, the Island Air team considered a number of aircraft and we are pleased to announce the selection of the Q400 NextGen turboprop,” says Paul Casey, president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Island Air.
“With its superior speed, performance and fuel efficiency; outstanding operational flexibility; and market-leading passenger comfort, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is the optimal solution for our needs,” adds Casey.
Island Air currently offers scheduled services to and from the islands of Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Kauai.
Thai carrier Nok Air acquired its Q400 NextGen options under a contract announced on November 19, 2013. The deal also included two firm-ordered Q400 NextGens and purchase rights on four more.
At that time, Bombardier also confirmed that Nok Air would be the launch customer for the new extra capacity seating (ECS) option for the Q400 NextGen turboprop. The Q400 NextGen ECS option will allow the aircraft to accommodate up to 86 passengers in single-class configuration.
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen, Bombardier Aerospace values Nok Air’s latest firm order at approximately US$64 million.
“With its recent aircraft purchases and newly sealed partnerships, Nok Air is at a crossroad to become a major player in Southeast Asia’s low-cost carrier arena,” says Patee Sarasin, chief executive officer of Nok Air. “The extra capacity Q400 NextGen turboprop, with its jet-like speed, will not only be highly profitable to our operations but will also bring added productivity and flexibility to our expanding network.”
Including Island Air’s order and the new Nok Air order, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 495 Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops.