Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise is the previously undisclosed customer that signed a firm purchase agreement for five additional Q400 turboprop aircraft. Based on the list price of the Q400 aircraft, the contract is valued at approximately $162 million US.
"Our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines extends beyond straight buyer-seller," said Colin Bole, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Ethiopian is an Authorized Service Facility for Q400 aircraft and operates the only Q400 aircraft flight simulator in Africa. In addition, we have worked together to support other Q400 aircraft operators such as RwandAir, Congo Airways and Air Tanzania."
"We are reordering the Bombardier Q400 turboprop as it is the core element in serving our expanding domestic and regional destinations," said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines. "No other turboprop airliner matches its 360-knot speed capability, low operating costs, environmental credentials and passenger comfort, especially with its cabin flexibility for single and dual-class passenger configuration. The Q400 aircraft shines in terms of climb rate, single-engine ceiling, and greater revenue-producing payload capability from our hot weather, high altitude airstrips, these performance attributes being critical to interchangeability with our jet fleet."
"The airline market in Africa has been growing slowly but steadily as the industry is becoming more liberalized and the infrastructure to support the growth is being put in place," said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Airlines in Africa are working very hard to modernize their operations to meet the challenges of tomorrow and we are committed to helping with the aircraft and technical support they require."
Ethiopian Airlines' initial order for eight Q400 aircraft plus four options was announced on November 20, 2008. Four re-orders directly and through Palma Capital, including the one announced on June 9, increase the airline's Q400 aircraft fleet to 24 aircraft, the largest in Africa.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft already has a solid foothold on the African continent with upwards of over 190 Q Series turboprops - including over 35 Q Series operators - and CRJ regional jets in operation or on order from customers. Over the next two decades, Africa is expected to take deliveries of 550 new aircraft, and with Bombardier's family of aircraft, the company is well positioned to serve this growing market.
Bombardier has now recorded a total of 585 Q400 aircraft on firm order.