opened the Dubai Airshow with a huge first day selling a combined $150 billion worth of aircraft to Gulf carriers respectively, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier gained some traction winning orders and commitments for 27 of its Q400 turboprops and CSeries mainliner jets.
Saad Al-Khafaji, Chief Executive Officer and Director General, Iraqi Airways and Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft in Dubai, following the announcement Iraqi Airways signed a letter of intent for up to 16 Bombardier CS300 aircraft. Photo, courtesy of Bombardier.
Among the biggest announcements was a purchase agreement from Iraqi Airways to acquire five CS300s, with options for 11 additional aircraft. The order, along with the options, would be valued at $1.26 billion as a firm order.
“Over the last few years, Iraqi Airways has successfully utilized its CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to open routes and expand into new markets, and today we are pleased to be taking the next step by expanding and complementing our network operations with the addition of the CS300 aircraft,” said Saad Al-Khafaji, CEO of Iraqi Airways.
Bombardier recently completed the first flight of the CS100, the smallest model of its CSeries family aircraft, which will compete with the Airbus
A320 and Boeing
737 with a planned entry into service for September 2014.
Operators also showed interest in the Q400 NextGen aircraft, with low-cost Thai carrier Nok Air agreeing to a firm order for two Q400s and options and purchase rights for six others. Nok Air was confirmed as the launch customer for a new extra capacity seating option that adds space for up to 86 additional passengers in the Q400 cabin. The firm order is worth $63 million, and could increase to $258 million if all options are confirmed.
"The extra capacity seating option will give the Q400 NextGen aircraft an advantage of up to 7 percent fuel burn per seat and an overall operating seat cost advantage of up to 17 percent compared to its closest turboprop competitor,” said Torbjorn Karlsson, vice president of sales for Bombardier's Asia-Pacific division.
Middle Eastern aircraft leasing company Palma Holding also signed an agreement to purchase four Q400s, along with four options, a $282 million order if all options are confirmed.
Palma plans on leasing the aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines.
Abu Dhabi-based transport operator Abu Dhabi Aviation and Ivory Coast national carrier Air Côte d'Ivoire also signed agreements for two Q400s each.
“We will capitalize on the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s outstanding performance, including its high speed and long-range cruise capability, as we look to modernize our fleet and expand our domestic and regional route network. Additionally, in West Africa, where average fuel prices are among the highest in the world and the highest on the continent, the fast, fuel-efficient Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner is the most cost effective and flexible regional aircraft solution for our operations," said René Decurey, CEO of Air Côte d’Ivoire.