Bombardier and Chorus Sign Purchase Agreement for up to 23 Q400 NextGen Aircraft and Launch New Extended Service Program for Dash 8-300 Aircraft
Q400 aircraft to be operated by Jazz under the Air Canada Express brand
February 2, 2015 Toronto – Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR.B CHR.A), parent company of Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’) announced today that they have signed a firm purchase agreement whereby Chorus will acquire 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft and options for 10 Q400 NextGen aircraft. Once delivered, the aircraft will be operated by Jazz under the Air Canada Express banner. The Companies also announced Chorus and Jazz as the launch customer and operator for the industry’s first Dash 8-300 aircraft Extended Service Program that will extend the life of the Dash 8-300 turboprop to 120,000 flight cycles from the original 80,000 flight cycles.
Q400 NextGen Aircraft Purchase Agreement
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $424 million US, and could increase to $758 million US should Chorus exercise all its options.
“The addition of these new Q400 NextGen aircraft will continue Jazz’s fleet renewal program that began in 2011, and provide unit operating costs that are amongst the lowest of any regional aircraft,” said Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus and Jazz. “The addition of these efficient aircraft is an important component of our cost reduction plans and the amended Capacity Purchase Agreement (‘CPA’) with Air Canada. The Q400 NextGen airliner has proven to be an outstanding complement to our exclusive fleet of Bombardier turboprops and regional jets.”
“We are delighted that Chorus and Jazz continue to put their confidence in the Q400 NextGen turboprop, relying on the aircraft to provide service from coast to coast in Canada and the United States,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With its unbeatable economics, in-service performance and excellent passenger comfort, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is widely regarded as the proven choice for North American carriers looking for large turboprop aircraft and it continues to be a segment in which we’ve retained 100 per cent market share.”
Dash 8-300 Aircraft Extended Service Program
The Extended Service Program will extend the service life of Jazz’s Dash 8-300 aircraft by 50 per cent, or approximately 15 years. The agreement covers a minimum of 19 aircraft and the program will begin in early 2017. The Dash 8-300 aircraft is an efficient 50-seat turboprop with attractive operating economics that is well suited to meet regional passenger demand across Canada.
“We are the world’s largest operator of Dash 8 aircraft,” continued Mr. Randell. “Our collaboration with Bombardier goes back many years and we’re very pleased to be the launch customer for this innovative program that will keep this valuable asset in the Jazz fleet. This 50-seat turboprop is well suited to many of the regional markets we serve under the Air Canada Express banner, and it’s difficult to beat its economics.”
“The Dash 8-300 aircraft has been a top-performing turboprop since its launch over two decades ago and it remains very much in demand today. Our Extended Service Program will enable operators to further take advantage of the Dash 8-300 aircraft’s economic and operational value,” said Todd Young, Vice President, Customer Services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The Extended Service Program will be accomplished through several structural and engineering analyses, applying fatigue and test data that has been accumulated on the Dash 8-300 aircraft. It will be initiated through a Service Bulletin that will make reference to a new Maintenance Program Supplement. As launch operator, Jazz will incorporate the Service Bulletin and Maintenance Program Supplement and arrange for the replacement of some structural and systems components as identified by the Service Bulletin.
In 2009, Bombardier successfully launched the Dash 8-100 aircraft Extended Service Program alongside Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS of Norway as launch customer for that aircraft type.
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.
Including Chorus’ order, Bombardier has booked firm orders for 534 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 some 50 owners and operators in over 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.
Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus was incorporated on September 27, 2010 and is a dividend-paying holding company with various interests including Jazz Aviation Holdings Inc. and Chorus Aviation Holdings Inc.
Jazz Aviation Holdings Inc. holds all of Chorus’ business interests associated with the CPA with Air Canada which includes Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), Jazz Aircraft Financing Inc. (‘JAFI’), and Jazz Leasing Inc. (‘JLI’). JAFI and JLI were established for the sole purpose of acquiring and financing Q400 aircraft and related equipment, and leasing them to Jazz for use in the CPA.
Chorus Aviation Holdings Inc. is a holding company to facilitate diversification of Chorus’ business, such as the establishment of Chorus Airport Services Inc. which provides airport handling services.
Chorus is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols of CHR.A and CHR.B
For more information, visit www.chorusaviation.ca.
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