Lessor Palma Holding Limited Orders Fifth Bombardier Q400 NextGen Turboprop Airliner

  • Palma and Ibdar Bank to lease new aircraft to RwandAir of Kigali, Rwanda

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that lessor Palma Holding Limited (“Palma”) has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire an additional dual-class Q400 NextGen aircraft. Under a joint venture between Palma and Ibdar Bank BSC (“Ibdar”), the firm-ordered aircraft will be leased to RwandAir of Kigali, Rwanda. 

“The dual-class-configured Q400 NextGen aircraft presents many exciting business development opportunities for the African region,” said Moulay Omar Alaoui, President, Palma Holding Ltd. “With Ibdar, we became the first lessors worldwide for the aircraft’s dual-class configuration and having already worked together to place four aircraft with another operator in Africa, we are delighted to support RwandAir on its path towards further growth and increased profitability. 

“The Q400 aircraft is highly desired by airlines as evidenced by the number of repeat orders, and this makes it an attractive asset from a lessor’s point of view,” added Mr. Alaoui.

“It is also worth noting that with these purchase and lease agreements, together with Palma, we continue to expand the use of Islamic financing in the African aviation sector,” said Basel Al-Haq-Issa, Chief Executive Officer, Ibdar Bank BSC. “Our previous cooperation, which facilitated the lease of four Q400 NextGen aircraft, was the first Islamic financing deal in the African aviation sector, and we will continue to look for opportunities to replicate and build on this success as we have now done with RwandAir.”

“Our first dual-class, 67-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft has been performing extremely well and has fully met our expectations. It has proven to be capable of performing in our environment and flexible in supporting our fleet strategy through its increased capacity – all the while nicely complementing our dual-class CRJ900 NextGen regional jets,” said John Mirenge, Chief Executive Officer, RwandAir.  “We are adding another Q400 Next Gen aircraft to our fleet because we know it will be an important and consistent contributor to our bottom line.”

“Proving its high value in meeting the African regional market’s requirements, the Q400 NextGen aircraft -- with its outstanding operational flexibility thanks to its jet-like speed – is a premium product for increased revenues,” said John Kassis, Regional Vice President, Sales, the Middle East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are thrilled to be joining Palma in supporting RwandAir’s innovative growth strategy.”

RwandAir currently operates two dual-class Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets, and with the lease of the aircraft announced today, is adding another Q400 NextGen aircraft to the first one that is already in service.

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 Palma’s order, Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 538 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 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.

About RwandAir
From Kigali as its hub in the heart of Africa, RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines and operates one of the youngest fleet on the African continent. The airline which is also well reputed for an excellent on-time performance, reaches out to eighteen cities in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa and the Middle East. RwandAir also plans in 2016 to expand its services to Europe and Asia.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s largest 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 World and North America Indices. 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 of Q400 NextGen aircraft in RwandAir’s livery are posted with this press release at www.bombardier.com. Additional information on the Q400 NextGen aircraft is available at www.q400nextgen.com.

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Bombardier, CRJ900, NextGen, Q400 and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For Information

Marianella de la Barrera
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft