Bombardier Aerospace announced today that SAS Scandinavian Airlines and three of its affiliate airlines have signed firm orders for 27 regional jets and turboprops and have taken options on an additional 24 aircraft. Estonian Air of Tallinn, Estonia and SAS have placed firm orders for 13 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and have taken options on an additional 17, while Widerøe’s Flyveselskap A/S of Bodø, Norway and airBaltic of Riga, Latvia have ordered 14 Q400 NextGen high-speed turboprop airliners and have taken options on seven more. The value of the combined firm orders based on CRJ900 NextGen and Q400 NextGen list prices is approximately $883 million U.S. The value of the orders could increase to approximately $1.75 billion U.S. if all options are exercised.
“The firm order for 27 aircraft will bring a rejuvenated premium product to our customers,” said Mats Jansson, President and CEO, SAS Group. “The CRJ900 and Q400 NextGen aircraft are well-suited to our operations in Northern Europe, where our customers expect comfortable and environmentally friendly travel."
“We are proud to extend our long-standing partnership with SAS and its partner airlines,” said Steven Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Regional Aircraft. “This order is not only a milestone in terms of size and value, but is a testament to the strength of our relationship. SAS has been a Bombardier customer for eight years, Widerøe for 50 years, and now we welcome airBaltic and Estonian Air to our family. We are also very pleased that SAS and its affiliates have chosen our NextGen family, both turboprops and jets, to augment their fleets.”
Olev Schults, Chairman, Supervisory Board, Estonian Air and Mr. Jansson said their airlines require aircraft with less capacity than their mainline jets. “The CRJ900 NextGen jet offers the best combination of performance, operating economics and passenger comfort,” they said.
Per Arne Watle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Widerøe and Bertolt Flick, President and Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic said the features of the Q400 NextGen airliner made the aircraft a very attractive addition to their fleets. “The performance, comfort and superb operating economics make the Q400 NextGen turboprop a highly effective product,” they said.
“airBaltic will start substituting its current Fokker 50 fleet with Q400 NextGen aircraft in 2009 thus increasing the capacity and efficiency of the airline’s regional operations,” added Mr. Flick.
The transactions announced today increase firm orders for CRJ900/CRJ900 NextGen airliners to 242 aircraft, with 145 delivered at January 31, 2008. Q400/Q400 NextGen aircraft firm orders now stand at 296 aircraft, with 190 delivered as of January 31, 2008.
With regard to the Q400 landing gear incidents in 2007 Bombardier, SAS and Goodrich, the manufacturer of the landing gear, have come to a mutually satisfactory agreement – the terms of which are confidential.
CRJ NextGen Aircraft
Bombardier’s CRJ NextGen aircraft were launched in 2007 and are achieving improved economics compared to earlier CRJ Series aircraft. These improvements come from fuel burn savings of up to four per cent and direct maintenance cost reductions achieved through lower airframe maintenance requirements. Maintenance schedule intervals have been increased, and tasks have been harmonized to reduce aircraft down time and labour over the life of the aircraft.
With their reduced fuel burn, the CRJ NextGen aircraft are responding to today’s environmental challenges by offering further reduction to green house gas emissions compared to their nearest competitors.
CRJ NextGen aircraft interiors include improvements designed with the overall passenger experience in mind. The passenger windows have been enlarged and the overhead bins have been modified to accommodate larger roller bags as well as optimized to store more bags. The addition of LED lighting has brightened the cabin environment while highlighting the improved aesthetics achieved with the new ceiling panel design and dished window sidewalls.
Q400 NextGen Aircraft
The new Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner is the next step in the continuing evolution of the Q400 aircraft. Revised in the same spirit as the CRJ NextGen aircraft family, the Q400 NextGen aircraft remains one of the most technologically advanced turboprop aircraft. As with the CRJ NextGen aircraft family, the overall cabin environment of the Q400 NextGen aircraft will be enhanced with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead bins. Combining these features with the Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system will give the Q400 NextGen passenger an even more pleasant cabin experience.
Operating costs of the Q400 NextGen airliner, already among the lowest of any regional aircraft, will be made even lower by increasing the scheduled maintenance intervals and further optimizing maintenance tasks. The Q400 NextGen airliner Aircraft Operating Manual (AOM) will be updated to reflect flight test experience which has shown that the fuel burn under certain operating conditions is lower than predicted.
Like Bombardier’s other regional aircraft products, Q400 NextGen aircraft external noise is well below the maximum permitted by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 16 Ch. 4, and U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) 36 Stage 4. Q400 NextGen aircraft also produce very low carbon dioxide and other gaseous emissions.
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