Bombardier to maintain Republic Q400s

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Bombardier has signed a nine-year deal to provide heavy maintenance for 32 Q400 turboprops operated by Republic Airways.

The agreement announced at the Regional Airline Association convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, establishes Republic as Bombardier's largest customer for the Smart Parts programme, says Gary Martin, vice president of sales and marketing for Bombardier commercial aircraft services.

Republic will begin operating the Q400 fleet for United-Contintental Holdings later this year.

Rival Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air had operated the Q400s, but is winding down all of its turboprop flying as part of a financial restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.