MONTREAL, 5 Aug. 2012. Budget Canadian air carrier WestJet Airlines Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta, has firmed up orders for as many as 45 Bombardier Q400 NextGen passenger jets from Bombardier Aerospace in Montreal. WestJet had placed conditional orders for the aircraft last May.
The transaction includes 20 firm-ordered Q400 NextGen aircraft and options on an additional 25 of the aircraft. The firm order is worth about $683 million and could increase to $1.59 billion if WestJet converts the 25 options to firm orders.
WestJet executives say they plan to launch a new regional airline next year. "The Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliner is the perfect aircraft for our new venture," says WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky.
The Q400 aircraft is designed for short-haul passenger air service. It is a stretched version of the venerable Dash 8 regional airliner, which seats 70 to 78 passengers, and entered service in 2000. The Q400 aircraft uses the active noise and vibration suppression (ANVS) system.
The Q400 has two Pratt & Whitney PW150A engines, and operates at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet. It is 108 feet long with a 93-foot wingspan, has a range of about 1,500 miles, and cruises at about 414 miles per hour.
Q400 avionics has the electronic flight instrumentation system (EFIS), with five high-resolution 6-by-8-inch liquid crystal displays. The aircraft's communications suite includes a dual VHF navigation and communications and mode S transponder. The regional airliner also has an emergency locator transponder and a solid state cockpit voice recorder.
The plane's navigation equipment includes a weather radar, a ground proximity warning receiver, a radar altimeter, an automatic direction finder and distance measuring equipment. The Q400 can accommodate a flight management system, a global positioning system (GPS), and a traffic alert and collision avoidance system, TCAS II.
Bombardier has booked firm orders for 454 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners and delivered aircraft are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries, on six continents. These aircraft have transported more than 227 million passengers and have logged more than 3.5 million flight hours and over 3.8 million take-offs and landings, Bombardier officials say.