India’s SpiceJet has taken delivery of its first 90-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop. The aircraft, VT-SQA (c/n 4583), is one of 50 on order (25 firm and 25 purchase rights) in a $1.7bn deal signed at last year’s Paris Air Show, and is still the largest single commitment for the type. Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said the Q400’s additional seats and performance improvements “will result in substantial reduction in unit costs and allow us to address our market needs in the regional sector”.
The entry into service of the higher capacity version of the Q400 is a milestone for the Canadian manufacturer and should be a welcome boost after the handover of the C-Series programme to Airbus in July this year. Certification of the 90 seat version was received from Transport Canada in early August.
Spicejet is the launch customer for the 90-seat Q400, which has 15% more passenger capacity, and according to Bombardier commercial aircraft senior vice-president Colin Bole, achieves a 15% reduction in seat costs compared to the standard 78 seat configuration.