RwandAir is increasing its fleet. On behalf of the Kigali, Rwanda, based airline leasing company Palma Holding has signed a purchase agreement for a Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft last week.
“Our first dual-class, 67-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft has been performing extremely well and has fully met our expectations,” says John Mirenge, Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir. “It nicely complements our dual-class CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.”
RwandAir currently operates two dual-class Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets, and with the lease of the aircraft announced today, is adding a second Q400.
Optimized for short-haul operations and capable of seating up to 86 passengers, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is a relatively fast and fuel-efficient aircraft. It has a long-range cruising speed of 287 knots (330 mph or 532 km/h) and a service ceiling of 27,000 feet. But it can even speed up to a cruise speed of 360 knots (414 mph or 667 km/h) making it one of the faster turboprops and an an alternative choice for commercial jet aircraft.
The Q400 is based on the De Havilland Dash 8. Entering service in 2000 the original Q400 already had a 60 to 90 knots higher cruise speed than the average turboprop, with more powerfull engine. The NextGen version has a new cabin interior, more modern lighting, adjusted windows, overhead bins, an improved landing gear and is more economic to use with lower fuel and maintenance costs.
Including Palma’s newest 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.
RwandAir flies to 18 cities in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa and the Middle East. RwandAir also plans to expand its services to Europe and Asia in 2016.
Featured image: Computer rendering of the Q400 NextGen in RwandAir livery (Image © Bombardier)