Bombardier Aerospace announced that the conditional order placed by WestJet airline has been converted to a firm purchase for up to 45 Q400 NextGen airliners.
The transaction includes 20 firm-ordered Q400 NextGen aircraft and options on an additional 25.
WestJet’s letter of intent to acquire these aircraft was announced on 1 May and, as previously announced, the order is for the 20 aircraft is valued at approximately $683m (£437.3m) based on the Q400 NextGen aircraft list price. This could increase to approximately $1.59bn (£1.02bn) if the 25 options are converted to firm orders.
“We are very pleased that our negotiations with Bombardier have led to the finalisation of this purchase agreement,” said Gregg Saretsky, CEO at WestJet. “We now look forward to fine tuning our plan to launch our new regional airline in the second half of 2013.
“WestJet will be the fifth operator and fourth airline in Canada to put our Q400 aircraft into service, joining approximately 40 other operators around the world,” said Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The Q400 aircraft is deployed in a variety of markets ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities.
Although the Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner is built at Bombardier’s manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada, mid fuselage and wing mounted flight components are made in Belfast.
Bombardier has invested £1.8bn in the site over the last twenty years, turning it into a centre of excellence for the design and manufacture of aircraft fuselages, engine nacelle systems, wings and flight control surfaces, as well as for processes such as advanced composites and computer-aided design/manufacture.
The Q400 aircraft, the advanced successor to Bombardier’s Dash 8/Q-Series family of aircraft, is optimised for short-haul operations, seating between 70 to 80 people. It was designed to meet the requirements of contemporary regional air transport.