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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:32 AM   #1
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Bombardier Q400 Turboprop Problems

SAS cancels 60 flights after removing Dash planes from fleet

STOCKHOLM, Oct 29, 2007 (AFP) - Scandinavian Airlines cancelled more than 60 flights on Monday after it permanently removed all Canadian-made Dash 8 Q400 passenger planes from its fleet following a series of incidents involving the landing gear.

About 1,500 passengers were affected by the cancellations, primarily in Denmark and Sweden. Some 55 flights were cancelled in Denmark and 12 in Sweden.

"Approximately 1,500 passengers will be affected during the day. Most of them are rescheduled to fly on other flights, so the situation is pretty much resolved although there are delays for them," SAS spokesman Mikael Lindberg told AFP.

He said SAS was either leasing planes from partner and other airlines or booking passengers on other carriers.

Scandinavian Airlines announced Sunday it was immediately and permanently discontinuing flights with its 27 Bombardier Q400 aircraft, one day after one of its planes crash-landed in Copenhagen due to faulty landing gear.

None of the 44 passengers or crew on board was injured.

The crash-landing was the third in two months and the latest in a string of incidents in recent months involving the landing gear on SAS's Q400s.

In the three crash-landings the landing gear collapsed on impact, while at least five other flights have had to turn back after warning lights in the cockpit indicated problems with the landing gear.

SAS had already grounded its 27 Dash Q400s for three weeks in September to inspect all of the planes.

Following that hiatus, which led to major delays and cancellations, SAS said it planned to seek 500 million Swedish kronor (77 million dollars, 54 million euros) in compensation from Bombardier in negotiations.

The turboprop planes are used for short-haul flights in Scandinavia and northern and central Europe.

SAS was the first airline to acquire the planes from Bombardier in 1997. They entered into service in 2000.

On Monday, SAS said the removal of the 27 planes from its fleet would have a negative impact on the group's result of about 300 to 400 million kronor (33 to 44 million euros, 47 to 63 million dollars) for the remaining part of the year, according to an early estimate.

The estimate was based on revenue losses, fixed costs and secondary effects since the regional planes are used to fly passengers to main hubs for further transport on international flights.

SAS is scheduled to release its third quarter earnings on November 8.

On Monday, the SAS share was down by 3.3 percent at 110 kronor in early afternoon trade.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:33 AM   #2
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Regulator wants meeting on Q400 plane's safety

MONTREAL, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) called on Monday for an emergency meeting to discuss the airworthiness of Bombardier Inc's Q400 aircraft amid concern sparked by the most recent crash landing involving the plane.

EASA said it asked for "an immediate crisis meeting" to discuss the airworthiness of Bombardier's Dash 8 Q400 turboprop plane.

"In the light of our analysis, we will decide whether to issue a further emergency airworthiness directive or any other appropriate measures for the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft," EASA said in a statement.

Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne said Bombardier had agreed to meet with Transport Canada and EASA next week to discuss the Q400.

"These people are responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft that are flying in European airspace. They know our aircraft," he said.

EASA's demand for a meeting came a day after Scandinavian airline SAS permanently grounded its fleet of Q400 turboprops made by the Canadian airplane maker.

SAS said on Sunday it would stop using Bombardier's Dash 8 Q400 planes following a series of crash landings triggered by problems with the landing gear, which is made by Goodrich Corp .

Bombardier's class B shares dropped 48 Canadian cents, or almost 9 percent, to C$5.05 on the Toronto Stock Exchange just after trading began on Monday.

They closed at C$5.34, off 19 Canadian cents, or 3.4 percent on volume of 15.6 million shares, more than twice the average daily volume over the previous five days.

MISHAPS MAY HURT SALES

SAS canceled more than 60 flights on Monday after a third plane from its fleet of 27 Q400s in service crash-landed at Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport on Saturday. No one was seriously injured in the accident.

The airline said it expects extra costs of $47 million to $62 million this year stemming from its decision to stop using the 78-seat Q400, and that will also affect next year's earnings.

Claude Proulx, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said the SAS decision may hurt sales of the Q400.

"We also believe that SAS could take legal action against Bombardier to recover lost revenues from permanently removing the aircraft from its fleet, especially if the civil authorities were to conclude that the incidents resulted from a manufacturing problem," he wrote in a research note.

SAS, 50 percent owned by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, was the launch customer for the Q400 in January 2000.

The airline had restarted Q400 flights earlier this month after temporarily grounding the fleet to inspect landing gear.

SAS has been in talks with Bombardier, the world's third-largest civil aircraft maker and the No. 1 manufacturer of trains, on its demand for compensation of about 500 million crowns ($78 million) to cover losses from previously canceled flights. Bombardier will not comment on those talks publicly.

About 164 Q400s had been delivered by Bombardier to 22 operators globally as of July 31.

Proulx noted that the landing-gear problem with the Q400 has mostly been isolated to SAS and could be linked to the type of conditions under which the aircraft are operated by the airline, such as frequent flights over salt water in a cold climate.

Bombardier's Duchesne said customers such as Flybe, Horizon Air and Austrian Airlines Group , which operate 75 Q400s altogether, had reported no problems with their fleets.

The Q400 mishaps come at a time when Bombardier's share price has already been under pressure, falling 25 percent below the year high of C$6.97 reached in late June.

($1=$0.95 Canadian)
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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:33 AM   #3
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A look at recent incidents involving Bombardier Q400 aircraft
29 October 2007

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Scandinavian airline SAS dropped 27 Bombardier Q400 turboprops from its fleet after three accidents involving landing gear problems. Here is a look at recent incidents involving the aircraft, also known as Dash 8 or DHC-8:

--Feb. 9, 2006: The pilot of an All Nippon Airways turboprop aborts a landing attempt at Matsuyama Airport in Japan after having trouble deploying the landing gear. The plane lands safely after the landing gear is deployed manually.

--March 13, 2007: An All Nippon Airways turboprop makes an emergency landing at Kochi airport in western Japan after the front landing gear fails to extend. No one is injured. The airline temporarily grounds its fleet of Bombardier planes for inspections.

--Aug. 12, 2007: A Jeju Air turboprop skids off the runway in Busan, South Korea, injuring six people. The cause of the accident is unclear.

--Sept. 9, 2007: An SAS turboprop with 73 people on board makes a crash-landing in Aalborg, Denmark. The right landing gear collapses after touchdown. Five passengers receive minor injuries during the evacuation.

--Sept. 12, 2007: An SAS turboprop carrying 52 people skids off the runway because of a landing gear malfunction during an emergency landing in Vilnius, Lithuania. No one is injured. SAS temporarily grounds its turboprops for inspections.

--Sept. 22, 2007: An Augsburg Airways turboprop with 64 passengers and four crew makes an emergency landing in Munich, Germany, after its nose landing gear fails to extend. No injuries are reported.

--Oct. 27, 2007: An SAS turboprop slides down the runway on its belly at Copenhagen's airport after the right landing gear malfunctions. All 44 people on board are evacuated without injuries.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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The Q400 is such a beautiful aircraft. I hope they get these landing gear problems sorted out soon.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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Q-400 malfunctions unrelated
Danish investigators say debris in landing piston caused the most recent crash landing of SAS plane
31 October 2007
The Toronto Star

The landing gear malfunction that caused Scandinavian Airlines to permanently ground its fleet of Bombardier Inc.-built turboprops and prompted European safety officials to call for an "emergency crisis meeting" is not related to two earlier accidents that involved the same type of plane, according to Danish investigators.

In a preliminary report published yesterday, Denmark's Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Board said an inspection of the landing gear on the Bombardier Q-400 involved in the most recent SAS incident revealed a valve inside the gear's actuator piston was blocked by a foreign "O-ring," a circular elastic seal.

That, in turn, prevented the complete extension of the landing gear and caused the crash landing in Copenhagen on Oct. 27, according to the report.

"This O-ring did not come from the actuator and its source is unknown," said the report, which added that the investigation is continuing.

By contrast, preliminary investigations of two earlier SAS crash landings in Denmark and Lithuania, which also involved landing gear failures, pointed to a corroded component inside the Q-400's actuator piston. No one was killed in the incidents.

Marc Duchesne, a Bombardier spokesperson, said the plane maker wants to determine how the debris found its way into the landing gear assembly following SAS's decision in September to ground its entire fleet of 27 Q-400s for three weeks to conduct landing gear inspections and replace key components.

Despite the latest finding, SAS spokesperson Hans Ollongren said the airline did not intend to reverse its earlier decision to stop flying the Q-400.

"Will it influence our decision? No, it won't," Ollongren said. "And that's because this decision was taken on the basis that our customers have lost confidence in this aircraft given recent events."

Ollongren stressed, however, that SAS does not intend to sever its relationship with Bombardier, calling the Montreal-based maker of planes and trains a quality manufacturer.

"We don't have a problem with Bombardier, we have a problem with the Q-400."

Most other airlines that operate the Q-400 have so far expressed confidence in the aircraft, saying they do not intend to scrap future orders. There are about 160 of the planes in service around the globe.

The only commercial operator in Canada is Toronto's Porter Airlines, which flies four of the turboprops from its base at the Toronto Island airport and has plans to add another six to its fleet.

Robert Deluce, Porter's CEO, said in an interview earlier this week that Porter has experienced no problems with the Q-400, although the airline did report one incident in December in which pilots were forced to manually deploy the plane's landing gear before landing in Toronto.

At least two Japanese airlines reported similar problems - landing gear that failed to deploy - earlier in the year, but Bombardier said several months ago that it had fixed the problem by replacing a switch in the nose assembly.

Bombardier said in a statement Monday that it was "disappointed" in SAS's decision to ground its Q-400 fleet while the accident investigation is still ongoing. The plane maker said that it has determined, with the help of Transport Canada and consultations with Goodrich Corp., which makes the gear, that there is no "systemic" landing gear issue with the Q-400.

It's not clear whether the preliminary report by Danish authorities will have any impact on the European Aviation Safety Agency's recent call for an "emergency crisis meeting" with Transport Canada and Bombardier to discuss the airworthiness of the Q-400.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Bombardier Response
http://www.bombardier.com/en/3_0/inc.../incident.html

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Old November 5th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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SAS says Bombardier Dash Q400 problems to cost it 700 mln skr
5 November 2007

STOCKHOLM (Thomson Financial) - SAS AB chief executive Mats Jansson said the costs for the three Bombardier Dash Q400 planes crashes, and the decision to stop flying its fleet of 27 Dash Q400s, will cost the company around 700 mln skr, the newspaper Dagens Industri reported.

He denied that the crashes were due to SAS skimping on maintenance work.

'SAS invests more than other airlines in safety and maintenance. It is a high priority area for us,' Jansson said.

He said SAS's board will have enough information by the summer of 2008 to take a decision on whether to invest up to 50 bln skr in new planes.

'Despite the fact that we have gotten a lot of beatings and people have painted a sometimes undeserved negative picture of SAS, customers still have faith in us. We will fly over 40 mln passengers this year,' Jansson said.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #8
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Third SAS accident may be from maintenance-report

STOCKHOLM, Nov 5 (Reuters) - A crash-landing by a Dash 8 Q400 turboprob plane flown by SAS on Oct. 27 could have been caused by earlier maintenance, a preliminary report by Danish authorities said.

The report, issued over the weekend and obtained by Reuters on Monday, said a blockage could have caused the right-side main landing gear on the plane to fail to extend properly.

The incident, which occurred as the plane was landing at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport, was the third such accident involving a Q400 turboprop plane operated by the Scandinavian airline within two months.

No one was seriously injured in any of the incidents.

The report, by the Danish Accident Investigation Board, said a valve in the landing gear was blocked by a part from a separate valve.

It said that during the replacement of one valve on Oct. 22, "the rogue O-Ring found blocking the orifice in the restrictor valve of the accident aircraft could ... have unknowingly been transferred ... by maintenance personnel".

It said the investigation was continuing.

SAS declined to comment.

SAS, which has a fleet of 27 of the planes, said it would stop using the Q400 following the latest incident.

Bombardier said it stood by the Q400.

"These latest findings clearly support Bombardier's position that the Q400 is a safe and reliable aircraft," said Steven Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Regional Aircraft.

"We are concerned about the impact negative comments might have had on Bombardier and the Q400 turboprop's reputation, and we will do all that is necessary to protect our brand, and by association, the reputation of our Q400 aircraft customers."

SAS has said it wants compensation of around 500 million Swedish crowns ($78 million) from Bombardier over the first two incidents involving the Dash 8 Q400 planes, one in Denmark and one in Lithuania. (Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Will Waterman)
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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European watchdog clears Bombardier plane after incidents

BERLIN, Nov 7, 2007 (AFP) - European aviation authorities concluded Wednesday that the Bombardier Q400 aircraft was safe to fly following a series of incidents involving the plane's landing gear.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in a statement that a thorough review had produced no evidence of a problem with the aircraft's design and that Scandinavian airlines would continue flight operations with the model.

"All participants concluded that the incident of an SAS Dash 8-400 on 27 October at Copenhagen was not due to a design error and that the airworthiness of the aircraft is maintained," it said from its headquarters in the western German city of Cologne.

"The Agency understands that the Scandinavian airworthiness authorities will reissue the Certificates of Airworthiness relevant to this aircraft type in the coming days."

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) said in late October that it would permanently discontinue flight operations with the Bombardier Q400 aircraft due to a number of problems with the plane's landing gear.

Danish civil aviation also grounded all Dash 8 Q400 planes in the SAS fleet after one made an emergency landing at Copenhagen airport. None of the 44 passengers and crew on board were injured.

The Canadian manufacturer Bombardier and the landing gear manufacturer, Goodrich, had denied the plane was defective.

The EASA said the airworthiness authorities of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Canada had taken part in the meeting as well as Bombardier and Goodrich representatives.

They concluded that two separate incidents with SAS aircraft in September were not related to another problem that arose in late October.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Goudou said all parties had been cooperative with the review, calling it "a good example of European and transatlantic cooperation in the area of aviation safety."
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Old November 11th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #10
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Japan seen faulting Bombardier for ANA mishap-report

TOKYO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Japan is likely to conclude that a mistake in Bombardier's <BBDb.TO> manufacturing process led to the emergency landing of a Q400 aircraft operated by All Nippon Airways' <9202.T> in March, Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily reported on Sunday.

Investigators at the Japanese Transport Ministry are leaning to the view that Bombardier failed to attach a necessarily bolt to the landing gear of the plane, Asahi reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The nose gear of the ANA plane failed to deploy but the aircraft landed safely and no one was hurt.

The incident was followed by two crash landings involving Bombardier's Q400 turboprop plane in Europe. Tokyo is expected to publish a report on the incident early next year, the paper said. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Alex Richardson)
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Old November 13th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #11
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No rethink on Q400s, says Flybe
13 November 2007
The Daily Telegraph

REGIONAL low-cost airline Flybe said it had no misgivings over the Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft as it made integrating the purchase of British Airways' short-haul carrier BA Connect a priority before a planned float in 2009.

The Bombardier 78-seater jet has been grounded by Scandinavian carrier SAS after three incidents, the latest a landing-gear failure in Denmark late last month.

Jim French, Flybe chairman, said SAS's problems had not made him rethink a $1.9bn ( pounds 920m) order for new jets, which will leave the carrier with 60 Q400s as well as 16 Embraer 195s. "I am very satisfied that there is not an issue with the Q400,'' he said.

Bombardier insists there is no problem with the aircraft.

Mr French was speaking as Flybe's existing business, excluding BA Connect, reversed last year's pounds 4.4m losses before tax and exceptional items to post pounds 15.6m profits on turnover 16.6pc higher at pounds 355m.

After accounting for the acquisition of the loss-making BA Connect, Flybe posted increased pre-tax losses, up from pounds 12.3m to pounds 16.2m.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #12
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A missing bolt that caused the emergency nose-landing of an All Nippon Airways Co. aircraft at Kochi Airport in March was probably never installed, sources close to the investigation said
13 November 2007
The International Herald Tribune (Herald Asahi)

The transport ministry's investigation panel believes Canada's Bombardier Inc. likely failed to put the bolt in the front landing gear during production of the DHC-8-400, the sources said

On March 13, ANA Flight 1603, bound from Osaka for Kochi, was forced to make an emergency landing when the front landing gear became stuck inside the fuselage

The plane skidded to a stop on its nose on the runway. None of the 56 passengers and four crew members aboard were injured

The ministry's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission is further looking into the production system at the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer because the problem could have led to disaster, they said

The commission's report will be released early next year

The bolt was meant to be installed in the joint of an arm that opens and shuts doors to the storage compartment for the front landing gear

Because the bolt was missing, a cylindrical part shifted position and prevented other parts from opening the doors, according to the sources

Investigators found no trace that the bolt had ever been screwed into the cylindrical part. the sources said

If the bolt was properly tightened, it would leave a trace marking in another cylindrical part called a bushing. But no markings were found, according to the sources

The panel has apparently concluded that Bombardier failed to attach the bolt, the sources said

ANA told the investigators that the airline had never checked or touched the bolt since the aircraft was delivered in July 2005

Since the Kochi accident, similar troubles involving landing gear in Bombardier DHC-8-400 aircraft, also known as the Q400, have been reported

On Oct. 27, a Scandinavian Airlines System aircraft made an emergency landing in Copenhagen when the right-hand main landing gear became stuck

SAS has since grounded all of its 27 Bombardier Q400s

Bombardier says it plans to toughen inspections of landing gear and is reviewing its design. However, the airline industry remains concerned about safety

According to some sources, multiple production errors may have led to the nose-landing in Kochi

Some parts of the landing gear may have been damaged in production, forcing the entire apparatus to be replaced. The bolt may not have been installed at that time, they said.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #13
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Bombardier Q400 destined for Algeria had landing gear problem
14 November 2007
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL _ A Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) Q400 turboprop being delivered to an Algerian airline has experienced problems with its landing gear.

The plane was making its way from Toronto to Algeria when the pilots noticed that one of the landing gear doors refused to close shortly after taking off from a refuelling point in Portugal.

A spokesperson for the company said the incident happened several weeks ago and the plane is currently being repaired at a factory in Britain.

The company said Algeria's Tassili Airlines should receive delivery of the aircraft in the coming days.

Landing gear problems have plagued the Q400 in recent months.

Scandinavian airline SAS AB permanently grounded its fleet of 27 Bombardier-built Q400s after one of its planes made an emergency landing in Copenhagen on Oct. 27 with a landing gear malfunction, the third such incident in seven weeks.

A subsequent report by the European Aviation Safety Agency found the planes are air worthy after ruling that the series of recent accidents were not caused by design flaws.

Bombardier B shares closed Wednesday at $5.52, up three cents or three per cent, in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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Old November 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #14
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^ ugh...not ANOTHER landing gear problem...it just keeps on coming and coming
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Old November 16th, 2007, 05:24 AM   #15
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Scandinavian Airlines announces 230 layoffs after grounding its turboprops
15 November 2007

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Scandinavian Airlines announced Thursday it would lay off 230 pilots and cabin staff in the wake of a recent decision to stop flying its 27 turboprops.

SAS -- the joint flag carrier of Sweden, Denmark and Norway -- dropped Bombardier Q-400 turboprops from its fleet on Oct. 28 after three crash landings.

That decision came a day after one of its planes made an emergency landing in the Danish capital of Copenhagen with a landing gear malfunction -- the third such incident in seven weeks.

There were no serious injuries, but the SAS board said the accidents had affected passengers' confidence in the planes and that continuing to fly the turboprops could damage the airline's reputation.

"I can't give an exact breakdown but there are about twice as many cabin staff as pilots," said Mikael Lindberg, a spokesman for SAS Sweden.

The turboprop, also known as Dash 8, crash-landed twice in September -- in Aalborg, Denmark, and Vilnius, Lithuania.

The airline said that dropping the planes would cost up to $63 million during the remainder of the year.

SAS has replaced the turboprops, which represented about 5 percent of its seat capacity, with other planes in its fleet as well as with leased aircraft.

The carrier demanded $78.25 million in compensation from Bombardier for costs and lost income for the first two accidents.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #16
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That sucks. I would love to have seen SAS Q400's back in the air.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:28 AM   #17
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Qantas Places Firm Order For 12 Bombardier Q400 Turboprops
20 November 2007
Dow Jones

Qantas Airways of Sydney has signed a firm order with Bombardier Aerospace for 12 Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliners on behalf of its QantasLink regional airline.

Bombardier Aerospace, the air transportation division of Montreal's Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.T), said Qantas has also taken options and purchase rights on an additional 24 Q400 aircraft. Four of the 12 firm-order aircraft announced today represent conversions of existing aircraft options.

Based on the list price of the aircraft, the contract for the 12 firm Q400 airliners is valued at about $339 million.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:31 AM   #18
Lawcheehung
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^ good to know an international airline such as Qantas hasn't lost faith in the Q400 , excellent for Bombardier as well!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:28 AM   #19
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Will SAS try and sell some of their Q400s? Infact would anybody be interested in them though?
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 01:39 AM   #20
Canadian74
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Why wouldn't be anyone interested in them?
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