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Ryukyu Air to operate first cargo-combi Q400 turboprop airliner

Japanese Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd (RAC) will be the launch customer of the cargo-combi variant of Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliner announced at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2014.

The  Okinawa based airline, which is a p…


Japanese Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd (RAC) will be the launch customer of the cargo-combi variant of Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliner announced at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2014.

The  Okinawa based airline, which is a part of the Japan Airlines Group, have ordered five of the type and was not identified during the announcement of deal in 2014.

Based on the list price for the Q400 aircraft, the transaction is valued at approximately $168 million US.

RAC shares a long history with Bombardier, collaborating together since 1997 when we first introduced Japan to the Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft. The new aircraft join the airline’s existing fleet of four Dash 8 Series 100 and one Q300 aircraft.”

The Q400 combi is designed for operating in routes with medium to low passenger loads, but with high cargo potential, according to Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

The Q400 combi aircraft is available in various configurations. In the layout that provides the highest payload capability, the aircraft offers up to 9,000 lb. of cargo capacity and up to 1,150 cubic feet of cargo volume. In this high-cargo version, the aircraft can comfortably accommodate 50 passengers at 32-inch seat pitch, and 58 at 29-inch seat pitch. The Q400 combi aircraft’s “Class C” cargo compartments are designed to meet the industry’s latest regulations.

The Q400 offers a 30 per cent reduction in fuel burn over the jets it often replaces, and radically reduces carbon emissions and increases cost efficiency. Its high-speed cruise -- 160 km/h faster than conventional turboprops -- places the aircraft’s flight time within minutes of jet schedules, at the same seat cost as larger single-aisle jets. Its large propellers operate at a lower RPM, generating more power with less noise and making it a friendly option for city centres.

The Q400 aircraft family includes over 60 owners and operators in almost 40 countries worldwide and the worldwide fleet has logged more than 6 million flight hours. The aircraft has transported more than 370 million passengers worldwide. Long recognized as a high-value asset by operators, the Q400 aircraft is now also attracting growing interest from the leasing community.

Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 544 Q400 aircraft.