Flurry of Orders for Bombardier
Last month’s Regco order for 10 Q400s accompanied a flurry of minor transactions for Bombardier since AIN’s February issue went to press, starting with a contract for a pair of 74-seat Q400s from South African Airways. Expected to enter service with the flag carrier’s South African Express operation in Johannesburg, the airplanes will become the first Q400s ever to operate in Africa and join a fleet of seven de Havilland Dash 8-300s and six Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.
The recent brisk sales activity has also helped Bombardier gain a still stronger foothold in the Far East, where it recently landed firm orders from three Japanese airlines. On behalf of its Nagoya-based J-Air subsidiary, Japan Airlines agreed to take delivery of a single 50-seat CRJ200; Kagoshima’s Japan Air Commuter converted an option on a 70-seat Q400; and Ryukyu Air Commuter of Okinawa converted an option it held since 1996 on a Dash 8-100 to a firm order for a 50-seat Q300.