Bombardier Aerospace’s efforts to cultivate closer ties with the Chinese commercial aircraft industry continued last week with the official opening of a new office in Shanghai, now the home base of the Canadian company’s partnership with China’s Comac.
Bombardier Dash 8
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 1, marking the start of a process in which it plans to “wind down” all its United Airlines turboprop flying, including its Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 operation.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft saw its backlog for Q400s grow last month by more than 25 percent with a single firm order from Poland’s Eurolot for eight of the high-speed turboprops, along with options on another 12. The deal not only helps rejuvenate the Q400’s recently growing, but still weak, backlog, but it also signals a shift in Eurolot’s loyalties from ATR, 14 of whose airplanes the Polish airline now operates.
Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) signed a definitive agreement on March 21 to cooperate on four areas or “program commonalities” of their respective C Series and C919 narrowbody airliners.
The last of 11 ATR 72-500s grounded on March 18 by New Zealand’s Mount Cook Airlines due to hairline cracks found on a front fuselage frame will likely return to service by the end of this week, an ATR spokesman told AIN Thursday. Subsequent checks on the entire fleet showed similar cracks on at least nine of the airplanes.
Export Development Canada (EDC) has agreed to defer $16.6 million worth of loan payments for the fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops operated by Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air, a Pinnacle filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed in late January. According to the document, the EDC agreed to defer payments and withhold any “enforcement action” from January 14 through March 31.
For years Bombardier Commercial Aircraft claimed a modest level of sales success in Asia, selling more than 300 airplanes over the years to nearly 40 operators. But its performance there had proved uneven, and the company traditionally has depended on strongholds in North America and Europe for the majority of its revenues.
The Western world’s two remaining turboprop makers each made sales headlines at last week’s Singapore Airshow, where Indonesia’s Lion Air padded ATR’s already robust order book and Bombardier’s Q400 showed signs of life following a lengthy dry spell.
Bombardier Aerospace (Chalet CD61) confirmed Ethiopian Airlines today (Thursday) as the customer of an previously-announced order for five Q400 NextGen turboprops, and said that Horizon Air will buy two additional Q400 NextGens.
Bombardier Aerospace (Chalet CD61) confirmed Ethiopian Airlines today as the customer of an previously-announced order for five Q400 NextGen turboprops, and said that Horizon Air will buy two additional Q400 NextGens.