Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet Airlines has firmed up its order with Bombardier for up to 45 Q400 NextGen aircraft, following the signing of letter of intent in May.
The deal includes 20 firm-ordered Q400 NextGen aircraft and options for additional 25 aircraft; it is valued at nearly $683m and can further total to $1.59bn should all the options be exercised.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Mike Arcamone said that WestJet would be the fifth operator and fourth airline in Canada to put the company's Q400 aircraft into service.
"The Q400 aircraft is deployed in a variety of markets, ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities," Arcamone added.
Westjet is planning to launch its new regional airline in the second half of 2013, which will serve airports from coast-to-coast.
Manufactured at Bombardier's Toronto, Ontario facility, the Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner is the successor to the company's Dash 8/Q-Series line of aircraft.
The 70 to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft is suitable for short-haul operations and is claimed to balance passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental impact.
While offering 30% to 40% less fuel consumption and reducing emissions in the same range over the similar aircraft, the Q400 can cruise at a maximum speed of 360k.
Features of the Q400 aircraft include an enhanced cabin environment with LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins.
In addition, the integration of active noise and vibration suppression (ANVS) system is claimed to offer enhanced cabin experience for passengers.
With more than 454 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners currently on order, Bombardier's aircraft are operational with nearly 40 operators in 30 countries, on six continents.
Image: The Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft in WestJet livery. Photo: courtesy of Bombardier.