Aires prepares for Q400 introduction

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Colombia's fast growing airline Aires is preparing to introduce four Bombardier Q400 turboprops into its fleet.

An Aires spokesman tells ATI that the aircraft are arriving this month and in June, and will be put into service "immediately" to reinforce the operations of its existing 11 37-seat Dash 8 Q200s, particularly on international routes.

"Our Caribbean routes from Barranquilla and Cartagena to Panama, Curaçao and Aruba, as well as the flight from Bogotá to Maracaibo in Venezuela will be the first routes to benefit from the availability of the Q400 in our fleet", he says.

The Aires spokesman explains the larger 70-seat Q400s will largely support existing Q200 routes despite the additional range of the Q400. Currently, the only new service Aires plans to inaugurate with the Q400s is a flight from Bogota to Riohacha.

Aires unveiled plans to add the Q400s to ATI in August of 2009 when carreir CEO Francisco Mendez explained the airline's business plan envisioned operating the Q400 and Q200 turboprops alongside Boeing 737-700s.