Signaling an apparent decision to abandon any immediate plans for a new large turboprop, Bombardier has found a way to squeeze another six seats into its Q400 by offering an option to convert the airplane’s forward baggage door into a passenger exit. The new interior design would replace cargo capacity with as much as another row and a half of passenger seats, raising the Q400’s total seating capacity to 86.
Ethiopian Airlines reinforced its commitment to Bombardier and its Q400 turboprop here yesterday with a contract to become an authorized service facility for the big prop jet and a commitment to take another four of the airplanes on lease from Palma Holding. Palma has signed a letter of intent with Bombardier covering a firm order for the four airplanes and options on another four. With the deal, Palma stands to become the first Middle East lessor for Q400s and the first lessor worldwide for the aircraft in a dual-class configuration. \
Bombardier Aerospace has signed a letter of intent to authorize Ethiopian Airlines of Addis Ababa to perform line and heavy maintenance on Q400 turboprops, the manufacturer announced last month. The parties expect the agreement to take effect this month.
Ethiopian Airlines’ overhaul and repair facilities at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa employs an all-Ethiopian workforce of more than 750 licensed technicians and support staff.
American Airlines CEO Tom Horton issued an online video apology following a failure of the company’s computer systems last Tuesday, forcing the virtual seizure of its network. The outage affected both mainline American and its American Eagle regional affiliates, which together canceled some 1,000 flights–amounting to nearly two-thirds of the company’s daily operations–and delayed roughly 1,100 by early Tuesday evening.
Air Canada announced plans last month to transfer its fifteen 73-seat Embraer E175s to regional affiliate Sky Regional Airlines under the two companies’ existing capacity purchase agreement (CPA). Air Canada plans to start the transition in February and deliver the last airplane to Toronto-based Sky Regional in June.
Warsaw-based Eurolot has converted options on six Bombardier Q400 turboprops to a firm order worth $190 million based on list prices, the Canadian manufacturer announced last month. Once delivered, the new airplanes will increase the size of Eurolot’s Q400 fleet to 14 while replacing aging ATR 42s and 72s. Eurolot placed a firm order for eight Q400s with options on another 12 in early March and took delivery of the first in mid-May.
An emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by Transport Canada yesterday calls for further inspection of Bombardier Q400 main landing gear (MLG) after line checks uncovered two cases of cam mechanism failure in the gear's alternate extension system (AES). The cam mechanism operates the cable to open the main landing gear door and releases the MLG uplock in sequence.
ARSA Cautions Clinton on Aviation Exports
Struggling Caribbean regional airline Liat and fellow money-losing international carrier BWIA will form the basis of a new West Indian airline under a plan by four island governments to stem the tide of red ink that habitually covers their balance sheets. The plan calls for the governments of Barbados, Antigua, St.
Overnight-package carriers FedEx, UPS and Airborne Express use big jets to move cargo between major hubs and rely on smaller piston and turboprop airplanes, such as the Cessna Caravan, to service outlying airports. Packages, which are shipped in containers on the cargo jets, must be removed from the containers and placed on pallets for loading into the smaller airplanes.
- Page 1