Bombardier has won an $89m order from RwandAir for two CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.

The deal also includes an option to purchase two additional CRJ900 NextGen aircraft which, if exercised, would increase the contract value to $185m.

RwandAir chief executive officer, John Mirenge, said: "Our two 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft have performed very well for us and have helped grow our business to the point that we require aircraft with more capacity."

"Based on our experience with the CRJ200 aircraft, the dual-class 75-seat CRJ900 NextGen aircraft was the logical upgrade," Mirenge said.

Bombardier’s CRJ900 NextGen aircraft is powered by a General Electric CF34-8 engine, has a cruise speed of 0.78Mach and can reach top speeds of up to 0.85Mach.

With the current order, the company claims that RwandAir will become the first operator of the next gen regional jetliner in Eastern Africa.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president, Mike Arcamone, said: "The aircraft is the ideal size to allow the airline to connect its regional markets that have become too large for smaller aircraft, but too small for RwandAir’s larger jets to serve efficiently."

Currently, RwandAir operates larger jet aircraft, two Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets and a Bombardier Dash 8-200 turboprop.

Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast for the period 2011-2030 predicts that the Middle East and Africa will take delivery of about 1,000 aircraft in the 20 to 149 seat market segments during the period.

The company has received firm orders for 1,717 CRJ Series aircraft, which include 268 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, with 1,661 aircraft delivered as of 31 December 2011. 


Image: Bombardier will configure the two ordered CRJ900 aircraft with seven business class seats and 68 economy class seats. Photo: Bombardier