Colgan Doubles Q400 Order

 - January 30, 2009, 5:39 AM

Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air signed a firm order last month to acquire 15 more Q400 NextGen turboprops worth some $432 million. The transaction involves the conversion of a conditional order for 10 airplanes to firm status and the exercise of options Pinnacle placed on five in 2007. Scheduled for delivery between August 2010 and April 2011, the latest tranche of turboprops would increase the size of the fleet to 30.

Meanwhile, Pinnacle announced in the middle of last month that it has signed a firm
10-year deal with Continental Airlines to increase the number of Q400s operated by Colgan. Now flying 15 Q400s to 20 destinations out of Newark International Airport, Pinnacle said it has arranged for a financing commitment from a lender to finance up to 85 percent of the purchase price of each aircraft and to finance most pre-delivery payments required of the manufacturer between now and the time of delivery.

Pinnacle said it also expects to pursue lease financing to reduce its capital requirements associated with the acquisition of the airplanes.

Pinnacle has obtained 15 more optional delivery slots exclusively for Continental for Q400 deliveries in 2013, subject to the airline’s ability to obtain “commercially reasonable” financing. Pinnacle also still holds options for 15 Q400s for delivery in 2011 that it might market to other major U.S. airlines.