China’s aviation industry supports a five-year plan to grow and strengthen its regional aviation structure but there is acknowledgment that the country will require more regional airports and more regional aircraft. The need for immediately available, fast, reliable, economical, comfortable, high-performance aircraft with solid environmental credentials fits perfectly with Bombardier’s offering.
“Our Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft fulfills these requirements better than any other turboprop airliner,”
said Marcel Grauer, Regional Marketing Manager China and North Asia, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Since entering revenue service in 2000, the Q400/Q400 NextGen aircraft has set the standard for airline turboprops.”
He said the average stage length of the Q400 aircraft route network proposed to China by Bombardier is 300 nm (557 km). That is where the 360-knot (667 km/h) Q400 NextGen turboprop performs as well as a jet aircraft but at a far lower cost. A Q400 NextGen aircraft will cover that distance in 61 minutes; a conventional turboprop will take 77 minutes, or 26 per cent more.
On a typical regional route such as Harbin-Heihe, the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s speed would permit an airline to add one extra flight per day, or 350 extra revenue-generating flights per year.
Mr. Grauer suggested that China needs aircraft with hot and high performance to explore rich tourist resources in high elevation areas, develop the western part of China, increase mobility and responsiveness towards unexpected incidents in high elevation areas, and cover areas where ground transportation can be difficult.
As an example, Ethiopian Airlines in Africa faces the same environmental challenges and its Chairman, Tewolde Gebremariam said, “Of great importance to us is the aircraft’s high rate of climb, single-engine service ceiling and higher take-off weight, thus greater payload when operating from our high-altitude, hot-weather airports.”
The Schedule Completion Rate (SCR) of the worldwide Q400 NextGen airliner fleet is 99.6 per cent, meaning that only four flights out of 1,000 are cancelled.
The flexibility of the Q400 NextGen airliner’s cabin means that the aircraft is available in single-class or dualclass seating configurations, as well as with one or two lavatories. Galleys may be outfitted for the service of cold meals only, or for both hot and cold meals, and a drop-down oxygen system is available as an optional feature. Q400 aircraft have also been outfitted for forest fire fighting and in executive/VIP configurations.
“We look forward to continuing our many discussions with China’s airlines to promote the many benefits to be received by operating the Q400 NextGen airliner,” said Mr. Grauer.
As of October 31, 2012, firm orders for Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners totaled 460 aircraft and delivered aircraft were in service with more than 40 operators on six continents. These popular, technologically advanced aircraft have transported more than 243 million passengers.
The Q400 NextGen airliner appeared in China earlier in 2012 during its globe-circling demonstration tour that also took it to Latin America, Africa, Russia and CIS countries.
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