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WestJet firm up order for up to 45 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft

WestJet has confirmed that the conditional order placed in June has been converted to a firm purchase agreement for up to 45 Q400 NextGen airliners.

The transaction includes 20 firm-ordered Q400 NextGen aircraft and options on an additional 25 of the aircraft. WestJet’s letter of intent to acquire these aircraft was announced on the 1st May, 2012.

As previously announced, based on the Q400 NextGen aircraft list price, the firm order is valued at approximately $683 million US and could increase to approximately $1.59 billion US if the 25 options are converted to firm orders.

“We are very pleased that our negotiations with Bombardier have led to the finalization of this purchase agreement,” said Gregg Saretsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, WestJet.

“We now look forward to fine tuning our plan to launch our new regional airline in the second half of 2013. We have every confidence that the Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliner is the perfect aircraft for our new venture. It is an aircraft that will serve WestJet and our guests extremely well and we look forward to bringing low fares and our remarkable guest experience delivered by our WestJetters to many new communities.”

“WestJet will be the fifth operator and fourth airline in Canada to put our Q400 aircraft into service, joining approximately 40 other operators around the world who enjoy its operating economics and flexibility, speed, passenger comfort and impressive environmental credentials,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“The Q400 aircraft is deployed in a variety of markets ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities.”

Q400 NextGen aircraft

The Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner, which is built at Bombardier’s Toronto, Ontario facility, is the most recent development in the evolution of the Q400 aircraft, and the advanced successor to Bombardier’s Dash 8/Q-Seriesfamily of aircraft. Optimised for short-haul operations, the “comfortably greener,” 70- to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop. It provides an ideal balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint.

The Q400 airliner was designed to meet the requirements of contemporary regional air transport, characterised by both turboprop and jet missions. Setting new environmental standards, the Q400 aircraft uses 30 to 40 per cent less fuel and produces 30 to 40 per cent fewer emissions on routes where it has replaced similar-capacity, older jets. The Q400 aircraft’s maximum cruise speed of 360 knots lets the aircraft fly on demand-driven interchangeable schedules with jets. However, the Q400 aircraft can slow down to achieve fuel parity with other turboprops on a per-seat basis, while still maintaining both speed and cost advantages.

The Q400 NextGen aircraft features an enhanced cabin environment with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins. These features, combined with the aircraft’s Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system, provide an excellent cabin experience for passengers.

Including the purchase agreement announced today, Bombardier has booked firm orders for 454 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners and delivered aircraft are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries, on six continents. These aircraft have transported more than 227 million passengers and have logged more than 3.5 million flight hours and over 3.8 million take-offs and landings.


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