Japan’s Ryukyu Air Commuter Unveiled as Launch Customer for Bombardier Q400 Cargo-Combi Variant; Purchased Five of the Type

  • Long-time Bombardier customer Ryukyu Air Commuter purchased the five Q400 turboprops in July 2014
  • All five Q400 aircraft will be delivered in combi configuration

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Okinawa-based Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd (RAC) is the unidentified airline that had signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 turboprop airliners previously announced in July 2014. RAC, which is a part of the Japan Airlines Group, is also the launch customer of the Q400 cargo-combi variant announced at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2014. All five aircraft ordered by RAC will be delivered in combi configuration.  

As previously announced by Bombardier, based on the list price for the Q400 aircraft, the transaction is valued at approximately $168 million US.

“Ryukyu Air Commuter shares a long history with Bombardier, collaborating together since 1997 when we first introduced Japan to the Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft. Since then, the Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft has become the backbone of our efficient and productive operation,” said Takashi Irei, President, Ryukyu Air Commuter. “Today we celebrate another first as we confirm that the Q400 combi aircraft is the ideal platform for our future fleet as we endeavor to offer comfort, reliability, and improved air transportation capabilities to our passengers, while supporting our local economies and communities with our extra cargo capability.

“Equipped with our new fleet of Q400 combi aircraft, Ryukyu Air Commuter looks forward to carrying many additional passengers as they enjoy travelling around Japan’s Okinawa islands,” added Mr. Irei.

“We are proud to unveil Ryukyu Air Commuter as the launch operator of the Q400 combi aircraft and pleased to credit the airline -- with its innovative market insights -- as the major impetus for the launch. The Q400 combi aircraft will provide the right capacity for RAC’s passenger demands as well as the additional cargo service to stimulate the local economies,” said Andy Solem, Vice President, Sales, Asia Pacific, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Recognizing the need to develop Japan’s remote southern islands, RAC will play a big role in extending cargo and payload capability; creating a significant benefit as the new aircraft join the airline’s existing fleet of four Dash 8 Series 100 and one Q300 aircraft.”

“The Q400 combi aircraft provides unique opportunities for airlines operating routes with medium to low passenger loads, but with high cargo potential,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Along with the recently launched dual-class and extra capacity options, the combi option illustrates Bombardier’s ongoing investment in the Q400 aircraft program and offers airlines unmatched operational flexibility in short-haul markets. The Q400 aircraft is now well positioned to once again reinvent the contemporary turboprop market through additional profitable growth.”

About Q400 Combi aircraft
The Q400 combi aircraft is available in various configurations. In the layout that provides the highest payload capability, the aircraft offers up to 9,000 lb. of cargo capacity and up to 1,150 cubic feet of cargo volume. In this high-cargo version, the aircraft can comfortably accommodate 50 passengers at 32-inch seat pitch, and 58 at 29-inch seat pitch. The Q400 combi aircraft’s “Class C” cargo compartments are designed to meet the industry’s latest regulations. 

About Q400 aircraft
Designed as a modern, 21st-century turboprop, the Q400 aircraft is the most recent development in the Q Series family of aircraft. It provides unmatched performance, operational flexibility and passenger comfort. In addition to the standard single-class configuration, Q400 aircraft are available with an optional dual-class interior for enhanced passenger comfort; in an optional extra-capacity configuration with up to 86 seats for high-density markets; and in a combi configuration. 

Thanks to its combination of turboprop attributes, jet-like features, industry-leading passenger experience and environmental footprint, the Q400 aircraft is exceptionally versatile and can be adapted to a variety of business models. By offering a 30 per cent reduction in fuel burn over the jets it often replaces, the Q400 aircraft radically reduces carbon emissions and increases cost efficiency. Its high-speed cruise -- 160 km/h faster than conventional turboprops -- places the aircraft’s flight time within minutes of jet schedules, at the same seat cost as larger single-aisle jets. Its large propellers operate at a lower RPM, generating more power with less noise and making it a friendly option for city centres.

The Q400 aircraft family includes over 60 owners and operators in almost 40 countries worldwide and the worldwide fleet has logged more than 6 million flight hours. The aircraft has transported more than 370 million passengers worldwide. Long recognized as a high-value asset by operators, the Q400 aircraft is now also attracting growing interest from the leasing community.

Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 544 Q400 aircraft.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, we posted revenues of $20.1 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Notes to Editors

Images and photos of RAC’s Q400 combi aircraft are posted with this press release at www.bombardier.com .

For more information on the Q400 aircraft, please visit http://news.commercialaircraft.bombardier.com.

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For Information

Marianella de la Barrera
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft