Ethiopian Airlines will add four dual-class Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops to its fleet, by leasing them from Palma Holding Ltd.
Palma signed the firm order for four Q400s on 3 February 2014, after it made the plans public in November. The company will pay about US$ 282 million. Palma is hoping to set off four additional Q400s and has taken options on those. By selling the Q400s to Palma, the Bombardier plane has gotten its first lessor in Southwest Asia (Middle East).
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet that includes 13 Q400 NextGen airliners. In total more than 200 Bombardier Dash 8/Q-series turboprops and CRJ Regional jets fly in Africa and Southwest Asia.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft has the ability to operate from unpaved runways, has a relatively fast speed of 360 knots (667 km/h) and a range of 1,114 nm (2,063 km). Including Palma’s order, Bombardier has booked firm orders for a total of 484 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have transported more than 295 million passengers and have logged over 4.7 million flight hours and more than 5.0 million take-offs and landings. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft program includes some 50 owners and operators in over 30 countries on five continents.
The Palma announcement comes less then a week after Bombardier announced to have received firm orders three Global 6000, two Global 7000 and three Global 8000 jets, from an undisclosed customer. That transaction is valued at approximately US$537 million.