Ethiopian Airlines has placed a follow-on order for two Bombardier Q400 aircrafts, valued at approximately $63 million at list prices.

This latest firm purchase agreement will take Ethiopian’s Bombardier Q400 fleet to a total of 19 aircraft, serving domestic and regional destinations. This fits with plans outlined by the carrier in 2013, to double its Bombardier Q400 fleet from 13 to at least 26 aircraft by 2026.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam described the Bombardier Q400 as “an integral part” of the airline’s expansion strategy. The type is operated by Ethiopian and its two strategic partners, ASKY Airlines in Togo and Malawian Airlines.

“The Q400 airliner has played a vital role in availing convenient connections, as well as increasing frequencies to support air travel growth in Africa and successfully create a missing link,” Gebremariam said.

Ethiopian Airlines has a Bombardier Q400 simulator in its training center and performs line and heavy maintenance on Bombardier Q400s at its Addis Ababa hub, which became an authorized service facility (ASF) in 2013. Bombardier also has a regional support office and parts depot in Johannesburg.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said Some 69 Q400 aircraft are  in service in Africa with more than 20 operators.

The Bombardier Q400 has hot and high capability, which is relevant to Ethiopian’s high-altitude home base, and is able to operate in challenging operational environments.

Ethiopian’s rapidly growing fleet, which has an average age of five years, is structured around the Boeing 787Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200F and dual-class Q400s. It is also planning to take up to 25 A350s – with 14 already on order – under its Vision 2025 strategy.

Source: ATWOnline
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