TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov 18, 2012) - Bombardier announced today that Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines is the first airline to take delivery of Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners outfitted with a dual-class configuration on the production line. The two airliners delivered so far, have already entered service with Ethiopian Airlines and its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo. The new configuration - featuring seven business class and 60 economy seats; fore and aft lavatories; and a galley outfitted to provide cold and hot meals - demonstrates the flexibility of the Q400 NextGen aircraft''s passenger cabin. The new configuration has also provided the airlines with increased cargo capacity. ASKY Airlines will operate three of the five dual-class Q400 NextGen aircraft ordered by Ethiopian Airlines in February 2012.
"We are very happy with this unique turboprop configuration. In addition to the enhanced, comfortable interiors that the Q400 NextGen turboprop are known for, adding the dual-class seating enables us to provide the best possible service on domestic and regional routes," said Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines. "Now our Cloud Nine customers can enjoy a full business class service and our connecting passengers from Ethiopian and the Star Alliance network will benefit from a greatly improved product in line with our continuous effort to provide a seamless travel experience."
Mr. Gebremariam also said that the airline''s original Q400 NextGen aircraft will be retrofitted with the new interiors.
"On the performance side, the Q400 NextGen aircraft''s ability in hot weather and high altitude conditions is extremely important to our operations," said Mr. Gebremariam. "Overall, our experience with this excellent aircraft in a wide range of weather and other conditions proves that it is ideally suited for operations in Africa."
"As a repeat Q400 aircraft customer, Ethiopian Airlines has grown to become one of Africa''s leading airlines and together with ASKY, they are taking full advantage of the Q400 NextGen aircraft''s cabin and operational flexibility," said Raphael Haddad, Vice-president, Sales, Middle East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Add in the aircraft''s high speed and low operating costs - and you have a new-generation turboprop that can''t be beat."
Bombardier has booked firm orders for 460 Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops, and delivered aircraft are in service with more than 40 operators in 33 countries on six continents. These aircraft have transported more than 243 million passengers and have logged more than 3.8 million flight hours and over 4.1 million take-offs and landings. Ethiopian Airlines, ASKY Airlines and nine other operators and leasing companies in nine African countries now have more than 40 of these aircraft in service, or on firm order.
About 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-Series family of aircraft. Optimized 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, characterized 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. Importantly too, the Q400 turboprop''s Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), located in the tail of the aircraft, vents its exhaust and noise upward, resulting in a better operating environment for ground crews. Overall, the Q400 aircraft is 15 decibels quieter than ICAO Chapter 4 noise standards; raising the bar for the entire industry. The Q400 aircraft is also participating in biofuel test programs that could make a significant contribution in reducing aviation''s carbon footprint.
Utilizing its maximum cruise speed of 360 knots, the Q400 airliner is able to 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 aircraft''s high rate of climb, single-engine service ceiling, higher take-off weight (thus greater payload) and jetway-compatible front airstair passenger door are important factors that contribute to its operational flexibility. In addition, the Q400 aircraft is the only turboprop approved for single-engine approaches in Cat. IIIa weather conditions when equipped with a Head-up Guidance System. The Q400 aircraft is also the only turboprop currently meeting Required Navigation Performance (RNP) standards, which is advantageous when operating in mountainous regions and confined airspace.
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, which offers the quietest, most vibration-free cabin of any turboprop airliner, provide an excellent experience for passengers.
Q400 aircraft are proving their high value by operating in diverse environments - arid environments in Northern Africa and the Middle East; humid environments in sub-Saharan Africa and Western North America; and the cold weather conditions in Canada and Eastern Europe.
In recent months, the Q400 NextGen aircraft has been certificated in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as in Mongolia. Recent orders have been received from Chorus Aviation (Jazz Air) and WestJet in Canada, and Eurolot in Poland.
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Notes to editors
Interior and exterior photos and images of Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY Airlines Q400 NextGen aircraft are posted with this press release at: www.bombardier.com, and on Flickr at http://ow.ly/fnrNa and http://ow.ly/fnrMJ.
Additional information on the Q400 NextGen aircraft is available at: www.q400nextgen.com.
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Active Noise and Vibration Suppression, Bombardier, Dash 8, NextGen, Q400, Q-Series and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.