Air New Zealand took delivery of its first 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turboprop during a ceremony held last month in Toronto. One of 17 Q300s Air New Zealand ordered in October last year, the Q300 will enter domestic service on August 15 with wholly owned subsidiary Air Nelson, flying to and from Nelson, Wellington, Napier and Hamilton. Air Nelson expects to take delivery of three Q300s by end of this year and the balance by mid-2007.
Air New Zealand accounts for most of Bombardier’s Q300 backlog, which now stands at just 23. The Swedish Coast Guard plans to take three for maritime surveillance duty in 2007 and the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau a single machine for navaid inspection and calibration next year. Undisclosed customers account for the other two on order.