Q400 Sales Boost Turboprop Revival

 - October 10, 2006, 6:19 AM

Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop continues to steal the spotlight from the company’s regional jet offerings, most recently drawing a firm order for another four examples from Flybe during last month’s Paris Air Show. The option conversion, coupled with an order for 20 Q400s announced in January, will increase Flybe’s Q400 fleet to 45 aircraft.

The Flybe deal came just days after Jeju Air of South Korea placed a firm order for five 74-seat versions of the Q400 and took options on three more. A low-fare start-up based on the vacation mecca of Jeju Island, Jeju Air plans to start operations in time for next year’s peak summer travel season.

Meanwhile, halfway across the Pacific, Hawaii’s Island Air has decided to lease a pair of Q400s, and possibly a third, to help support a new code-share deal it signed with Continental Airlines in May. It plans to take delivery of the first airplane in November.