It seems that much discussion is still under way at Bombardier as to whether or not it should launch a stretched, 90-seat model of its Dash 8 Q400 Next Gen turboprop.
Bombardier Dash 8
Bombardier Aerospace has signed a nine-year agreement with Canadian airline Jazz Aviation for its Q400 Smart Parts program. According to the manufacturer, Smart Parts provides convenient access to parts using cost-efficient inventory management.
ATR’s 50-seat 42-600 turboprop was certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) late last month, bringing to fruition a test campaign that saw the larger, 70-seat ATR 72-600 gain certification in May last year. The aircraft have been updated with glass cockpits and modern avionics systems along with other refinements, including the Armonia cabin designed by Italian car designer Giugiaro.
Bombardier’s Q400 became the largest Western-manufactured turboprop aircraft to gain approval to operate in Russia and the CIS last month, when the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC)–commonly known by its Russian acronym, MAK–awarded the airplane AP-25 type certification.
Last month the FAA proposed fining Seattle-based Horizon Air $445,125 for allegedly operating a Bombardier Q400 turboprop on 45 flights after failing to comply with an AD that calls for the airline to inspect for cracked or corroded engine nacelle fittings.
The AD, dated to take effect on March 17 last year, ordered inspections of the nacelles every 300 operating hours and completion of repairs as needed.
Calgary-based WestJet announced on May 1 that it has signed a letter of intent to buy 20 Bombardier Q400s and take options on another 25. Expected to launch a new regional airline in the second half of 2013, WestJet continues to work on a six-year plan for regional service from various hubs in Canada. Its route network consisting of more than 70 destinations now includes hubs in Calgary and Toronto, as well as so-called focus cities of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has agreed with United Airlines to fly the 28 Bombardier Q400s that bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines plans to return to its lessors, Republic announced Monday.
The FAA is adopting an Airworthiness Directive (AD 2012-08-11) for certain Bombardier Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft, to alleviate potential landing gear issues. The problems were identified during testing, which showed that failure of a retract-port, flexible hose on the main-landing-gear actuator could result in excessive leakage of hydraulic fluid.
Bombardier’s first-quarter financial results, released this morning, show a decline of company-wide revenue from $4.7 billion to $3.5 billion year over year for the Canadian manufacturer, while revenues for its aerospace division decreased from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion. “As anticipated, we had lower revenues in the first quarter,” said president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin.