Canadian-built, technologically advanced, fuel-efficient Q400 NextGen airliner would be ideal for WestJet's new high-value, low-cost regional airline
TORONTO, ONTARIO, Mar 06, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Today, in response to WestJet Inc.'s announced plans to launch a new low-cost regional airline, Bombardier Aerospace is preparing a 78-seat Q400 NextGen airliner for a flight across the Prairies to WestJet's Calgary, Alberta hub. The aircraft features a custom livery - "Proudly made in Canada and flying everywhere" - that heralds the Q400 NextGen turboprop's worldwide operational success and pays homage to the iconic WestJet brand. On March 7, all WestJetters will be invited to view the Q400 NextGen airliner on static display and some 50 will have the opportunity to experience a demonstration flight.
"The demonstration flight will provide an opportunity to showcase two of Canada's leading national companies," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The Q400 NextGen airliner is the fastest new-technology turboprop, providing both jet speed and turboprop fuel efficiency. This allows airlines to successfully deploy the aircraft in a variety of markets ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities.
"The Q400 NextGen aircraft's operational flexibility, low-cost operation, reduced environmental impact and onboard experience are ideally suited to WestJet's planned regional airline," added Mr. Arcamone.
Capt. Brian Price and Capt. Harlan Simpkins, a Calgary native, will be at the controls of the Q400 NextGen aircraft on the flight from Toronto to Calgary and will also operate the aircraft on the demonstration flight. "This is a true pleasure for me; the upcoming flights fill me with pride and I look forward to the thrill of flying over the Prairies back to Chinook country with the mountains in view," noted Capt. Simpkins. "As a longtime turboprop aircraft pilot, I marvel at the performance benefits and operational flexibility found only in the Q400 aircraft, which features a 100 per cent new airframe and engine combination."
Bombardier has booked firm orders for 420 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners. The delivered aircraft are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries, on six continents. These aircraft have transported more than 177 million passengers and have logged more than 3.2 million flight hours and over 3.5 million take-offs and landings.
About Q400 NextGen aircraft
The Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner, which is built at Bombardier's Toronto, Ontario facility, is the most recent development in the evolution of the Q400 aircraft, and the advanced successor to Bombardier's Dash 8/Q-Series family of aircraft. Optimized for short-haul operations, the "comfortably greener," 70- to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop. It provides an ideal balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft features an enhanced cabin environment with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins. These features, combined with the aircraft's Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system, provide an excellent cabin experience for passengers.
Setting new environmental standards, the Q400 aircraft uses 30 to 40 per cent less fuel and produces 30 to 40 per cent fewer emissions on routes where it has replaced similar-capacity, older jets. Importantly too, the Q400 turboprop's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), located in the tail of the aircraft, vents its exhaust and noise upward, resulting in a better operating environment for ground crews. Overall, the Q400 aircraft is 15 decibels quieter than ICAO Chapter 4 noise standards; raising the bar for the entire industry. The Q400 aircraft is also participating in biofuel test programs that could make a significant contribution in reducing aviation's carbon footprint.
The Q400 turboprop continues to deliver the best flexibility and overall operating economics in its market segment. Although the Q400 aircraft traditionally operates on routes of less than 500 NM, it is the only turboprop that has the speed and range to be deployed on routes over 1,000 NM. The Q400 aircraft's maximum cruise speed of 360 knots lets the aircraft fly on demand-driven interchangeable schedules with jets. But, throttle back to 280 knots and the Q400 aircraft is as fuel efficient as any other turboprop on a per-seat basis, while still maintaining some speed advantage.
The Q400 aircraft's high rate of climb, single-engine service ceiling, higher take-off weight (thus greater payload), optional drop-down oxygen system and jetway-compatible front airstair passenger door are important factors that contribute to its operational flexibility. In addition, the Q400 aircraft is the only turboprop approved for single-engine approaches in Cat. IIIa weather conditions when equipped with a Head-up Guidance System. The Q400 aircraft is also the only turboprop currently meeting Required Navigation Performance (RNP) standards, which is advantageous when operating in mountainous regions and confined airspace.
Q400 aircraft are proving their high value by operating in all kinds of diverse environments - cold weather conditions in Canada and Eastern Europe; arid environments in the Middle East and Northern Africa; and the humid environments in Western North America and sub-Saharan Africa.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, were $18.3 billion, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.
Notes to editors
Images of the Q400 NextGen aircraft in its custom "Proudly made here and flying everywhere" livery are available in the press releases section at: www.bombardier.com . Additional information, photos and videos for the WestJet event will be available on Flickr at http://ow.ly/9kQn2 , YouTube at youtube.com/bombardiervideos and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BombardierAero .
Follow @Bombardier_Aero on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from Bombardier Aerospace. The Twitter hashtags for the WestJet event are #ProudlyCanadian and #GoWest1.
Active Noise and Vibration Suppression, Bombardier, Dash 8, NextGen, Q400 and Q-Series are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.