Bombardier announced today that Chorus Aviation Inc., the parent company of Jazz Air, has ordered six DHC-8Q-400 NextGen aircraft. This will be the conversion of six of the 15 options taken by the airline with its original order for 15 Q400 NextGen airliners previously announced on April 30, 2010. The aircraft will be painted and operated under Air Canada Express colours.
The airline recently took delivery of their 15th Q400, which is also the 400th Q400 series aircraft built. Jazz Air is the world’s largest operator of Dash 8/Q-Series aircraft. The airline’s current fleet includes 80 Dash 8/Q-Series turboprops and 51 Canadian Regional Jets. Jazz is the second largest airline in Canada in terms of fleet size and number of routes flown.
Including the Chorus Aviation order, Bombardier has firm orders for 434 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners and the aircraft are in service with approximately 40 operators in 30 countries on six continents. DHC-8Q-400s have transported more than 177 million passengers and have flown more than 3.2 million flight hours and have made over 3.5 million take-offs and landings.
As part of this announcement, nine CRJ-200s will be removed from the Jazz Air fleet. These are likely to be the high-time aircraft in Chorus’ fleet, which originally were purchased by Air Canada and operated as part of its mainline fleet until the creation of Jazz Air and their transfer.
Additionally, the London Ontario maintenance base operated by Jazz Air will be closed sometime during the summer of 2013. Historically, this base was the home of Air Ontario which was merged into the Jazz Air group in the past. This closure will result in the loss of one heavy maintenance line for the airline and a number of layoffs, expected to be about 200 employees. This will leave Jazz with one heavy maintenance base in Halifax.
The six Q400 planes are slated for delivery at a rate of two per month in February, March and April 2013. The CRJs will be removed from the fleet between December 2012 and May 2013, reducing the total fleet to 122 aircraft.