Bombardier receives certification for increased capacity Q400
Bombardier has received certification for their 90 seat Q400, making it the first commercial turboprop to reach that capacity while still being in production.
The seating increase will provide airlines with a 15% reduction in operating costs per seat than existing 78 seat aircraft in service.
By adjusting the position of the rear pressure bulkhead and changing the rear door, Bombardier was able to fit the additional seats in the existing aircraft.
With the regional aviation market growing rapidly, SpiceJet placed a firm order for 25 of the 90-seat aircraft in late 2017, with options for an additional 25.
The 90 seat configuration puts the seat pitch at 28 inches in an all economy layout.
SpiceJet will receive their first 90-seat Q400 towards the end of this year, adding to their existing fleet of 23 standard Q400s.
Bombardier released a statement about this achievement in a media release, stating the following:
“Combined with the Q400 aircraft’s unique speed flexibility, which is driving higher scheduling efficiency, this new segment solution is perfectly adapted to high-demand turboprop markets and will further enhance economic connectivity between smaller towns and major hubs.”
Bombardier engineers aren’t done yet though. Work is currently underway to increase the aircraft’s payload by an additional 2000lb (907kg) and increase maintenance check intervals.
No comment has been made as to when these will be firmed and/or ready to enter service.
As of March 31, 2018, 1244 Q-Series aircraft have been built, of which, 573 are Q400s.
Key customers include Qantas, Jazz, Flybe and Horizon Air.