THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Chorus Aviation Inc., parent company of Jazz Aviation LP announced today that they have signed a firm purchase agreement whereby Chorus will acquire 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft and options for 10 Q400 NextGen aircraft. Once delivered, the aircraft will be operated by Jazz under the Air Canada Express banner. The Companies also announced Chorus and Jazz as the launch customer and operator for the industry’s first Dash 8-300 aircraft Extended Service Program that will extend the life of the Dash 8-300 turboprop to 120,000 flight cycles from the original 80,000 flight cycles.
Q400 NextGen Aircraft Purchase Agreement
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $424 million US, and could increase to $758 million US should Chorus exercise all its options.
“The addition of these new Q400 NextGen aircraft will continue Jazz’s fleet renewal program that began in 2011, and provide unit operating costs that are amongst the lowest of any regional aircraft,” said Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus and Jazz. “The addition of these efficient aircraft is an important component of our cost reduction plans and the amended Capacity Purchase Agreement (‘CPA’) with Air Canada. The Q400 NextGen airliner has proven to be an outstanding complement to our exclusive fleet of Bombardier turboprops and regional jets.”
“We are delighted that Chorus and Jazz continue to put their confidence in the Q400 NextGen turboprop, relying on the aircraft to provide service from coast to coast in Canada and the United States,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With its unbeatable economics, in-service performance and excellent passenger comfort, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is widely regarded as the proven choice for North American carriers looking for large turboprop aircraft and it continues to be a segment in which we’ve retained 100 per cent market share.”
Dash 8-300 Aircraft Extended Service Program
The Extended Service Program will extend the service life of Jazz’s Dash 8-300 aircraft by 50 per cent, or approximately 15 years. The agreement covers a minimum of 19 aircraft and the program will begin in early 2017. The Dash 8-300 aircraft is an efficient 50-seat turboprop with attractive operating economics that is well suited to meet regional passenger demand across Canada.
“We are the world’s largest operator of Dash 8 aircraft,” continued Mr. Randell. “Our collaboration with Bombardier goes back many years and we’re very pleased to be the launch customer for this innovative program that will keep this valuable asset in the Jazz fleet. This 50-seat turboprop is well suited to many of the regional markets we serve under the Air Canada Express banner, and it’s difficult to beat its economics.”
“The Dash 8-300 aircraft has been a top-performing turboprop since its launch over two decades ago and it remains very much in demand today. Our Extended Service Program will enable operators to further take advantage of the Dash 8-300 aircraft’s economic and operational value,” said Todd Young, Vice President, Customer Services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The Extended Service Program will be accomplished through several structural and engineering analyses, applying fatigue and test data that has been accumulated on the Dash 8-300 aircraft. It will be initiated through a Service Bulletin that will make reference to a new Maintenance Program Supplement. As launch operator, Jazz will incorporate the Service Bulletin and Maintenance Program Supplement and arrange for the replacement of some structural and systems components as identified by the Service Bulletin.
In 2009, Bombardier successfully launched the Dash 8-100 aircraft Extended Service Program alongside Wideroe’s Flyveselskap AS of Norway as launch customer for that aircraft type.