Bombardier Q400 makes visit to WestJet
March 6, 2012, Toronto - Today, in response to WestJet Inc.'s announced plans to launch a new low-cost regional airline, Bombardier Aerospace is preparing a 78-seat Q400 NextGen airliner for a flight across the Prairies to WestJet's Calgary, Alberta hub.
The aircraft features a custom livery – "Proudly made in Canada and flying everywhere" – that heralds the Q400 NextGen turboprop's worldwide operational success and pays homage to the iconic WestJet brand. On March 7, all WestJetters will be invited to view the Q400 NextGen airliner on static display and some 50 will have the opportunity to experience a demonstration flight.
"The demonstration flight will provide an opportunity to showcase two of Canada's leading national companies," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The Q400 NextGen airliner is the fastest new-technology turboprop, providing both jet speed and turboprop fuel efficiency. This allows airlines to successfully deploy the aircraft in a variety of markets ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities.
"The Q400 NextGen aircraft's operational flexibility, low-cost operation, reduced environmental impact and onboard experience are ideally suited to WestJet's planned regional airline," added Mr. Arcamone.
Capt. Brian Price and Capt. Harlan Simpkins, a Calgary native, will be at the controls of the Q400 NextGen aircraft on the flight from Toronto to Calgary and will also operate the aircraft on the demonstration flight. "This is a true pleasure for me; the upcoming flights fill me with pride and I look forward to the thrill of flying over the Prairies back to Chinook country with the mountains in view," noted Capt. Simpkins. "As a longtime turboprop aircraft pilot, I marvel at the performance benefits and operational flexibility found only in the Q400 aircraft, which features a 100 per cent new airframe and engine combination."
Bombardier has booked firm orders for 420 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners. The delivered aircraft are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries, on six continents. These aircraft have transported more than 177 million passengers and have logged more than 3.2 million flight hours and over 3.5 million take-offs and landings.