Bombardier and Falcon Aviation Services continue expansion of the Q400 airliner fleet in Africa
TORONTO - ONTARIO--(Market wired - March 16, 2015) - Bombardier Commercial Aircraft today welcomed Accra, Ghana-based Aero Surveys Limited ("Starbow") to the family of Q400 aircraft customers and operators. Starbow became the first Ghana-based operator of the Q400turboprop when it launched service with a Q400 NextGen aircraft wet-leased from Falcon Aviation Services LLC ("Falcon") of Abu Dhabi. The aircraft is one of six that Falcon ordered from Bombardier in 2014.
Starbow has joined more than 50 owners and operators of Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft worldwide, and has become the 18th member of the family in Africa. As announced in July 2014, Falcon and Bombardier have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which they will jointly address the need in Africa for several modern, high-quality aircraft solutions which meet international standards. The entry-into-service of the Q400 NextGen aircraft with Starbow re-emphasizes the collaboration arranged under the MOU.
"In collaboration with Falcon, we are thrilled to have launched operations with the Q400 NextGen aircraft - the most technologically advanced 60- to 90-seat turboprop available today," said, Eric Antwi, Chief Executive Officer, Starbow. "Our fleet renewal strategy will be well served by this modern, reliable and fuel-efficient aircraft, and we look forward to expanding our regional route network. In addition, we anticipate that our passengers will appreciate the Q400 NextGen aircraft's quiet, comfortable cabin."
"Starbow's operation is yet another successful placement of the Q400 NextGen aircraft in sub-Saharan Africa and we are delighted to be collaborating with the airline in launching service from Ghana," said Chief Operating Officer, Falcon Aviation Services. "The Q400 NextGen aircraft continues to prove its operational capability in Africa's hot,topographically diverse landscape. The aircraft's performance in the arid environments in the north; humid sub-Saharan regions; and at challenging airports such as those at high elevations or with unpaved runways, is a true testament to its value, making it an excellent asset in our portfolio."
"Operators of Q400 NextGen turboprops continue to capitalize on the aircraft's outstanding performance, and we are especially encouraged by the Q400 aircraft's success in Africa, where we continue to be the market leader in the 20- to 99-seat turboprop segment," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We are very happy to welcome Starbow to our family of owners and operators and wish the airline the very best for its future growth and development."
Regional aircraft manufactured by Bombardier have made significant advances in Africa where approximately 55 Dash 8-100/200/300turboprops, 60 Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops, along with 50 CRJ regional jets are in service with, or ordered by, more than 40 customers and operators.
Bombardier's customer support network for commercial aircraft in Africa includes a Regional Support Office (RSO) and spare parts depot, co-located in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Authorized Service Facilities in South Africa and Ethiopia. Operating from the company's regional office located in the United Arab Emirates, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft's sales and marketing team is well positioned to provide industry-leading solutions to its current and prospective customers.
About Q400 NextGen Aircraft
Optimized for short-haul operations and capable of seating up to 86 passengers, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop. It provides the perfect balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft is the fastest new-technology turboprop, providing both jet speed and turboprop fuel efficiency. The aircraft's economics and operational flexibility allow airlines to profitably deploy it in a variety of ways to serve typical short-haul turboprop routes, as well as medium-haul jet markets.
Q400 NextGen aircraft are available with an optional dual-class interior for enhanced passenger comfort; an optional extra-capacity configuration with up to 86 seats for high-density markets; and a cargo-passenger combi configuration.
Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 537 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have transported more than 355 million passengers and have logged over 5.7 million flight hours and more than 6.1 million take-offs and landings. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft program includes over 50 owners and operators in close to 40 countries on six continents. Long recognized as a high-value asset by operators, the Q400 aircraft is now also attracting growing interest from the leasing community.
Starbow is a privately owned airline headquartered in Accra, Ghana. Operating domestically from its base at Kotoka International Airport, it is the largest Ghanaian airline. Starbow began domestic flights out of Kotoka International Airport on September 26, 2011 and is currently serving Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale Airports. Starbow is developing and executing its fleet renewal strategy.
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