Philippine Airlines acquires up to 12 Bombardier Q400 aircrafts
Philippine Airlines has signed a letter of intent to acquire up to 12 Bombardier Q400 aircrafts in a two-class seating design, the company announced today via press release.
The turboprop planes, which are built at Toronto’s Downsview facility, would have an extra six seats for a total of 86, without changing the size of the plane.
“We are thrilled about the growing interest for the Q400,” said Bombardier spokeswoman Nathalie Siphengphet, who declined to give any timelines to firm up the order. “I can say all hands are on deck to make it happen.”
Philippine Airlines said in a news release it would set aside 10 seats for premium seating, as part of its efforts to become a five-star airline.
Bombardier, which has struggled for years to launch the costly CSeries aircraft program, has been focused on reducing overall costs on other programs including the Q400.
Workers in Downsview agreed earlier this year to allow work on the cockpit and wings to be outsourced, likely to Mexico’s facility located in the central state of Queretaro, in an effort to cut the price tag on the plane.
Bombardier’s Siphengphet said the company is at the request for proposal stage with suppliers to outsource the work. “We are always trying to be more competitive,” she said.
After years of delays, the CSeries jet began commercial flights this summer with Swiss Air Lines. The larger version of the jet is expected to be delivered later this year to launch customer Latvia’s airBaltic.
Due to the ballooning costs associated with the program, Bombardier asked both the federal government and the Quebec government for financial help.
Quebec put up US$ 1 billion in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the CSeries program.