Bombardier is at FIDAE with a two-pronged attack, exhibiting its Q400 NextGen turboprop to airlines and the new Learjet 75 to the business aviation community.
The Q400 is appearing throughout the show as part of a four-date Latin American tour, which will also take in Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico.
Although the turboprop twin has yet to secure any orders in the region, a Peruvian airline is operating a second-hand aircraft, and Kevin Smith, vice-president sales for the Americas, believes the mountainous landscape of the region makes the Q400 ideal.
“It’s certificated to operate at airports up to 14,000ft [4,300m], and can climb to 20,000ft in 10min – twice as fast as our competitor,” he says. “It also has an exceptionally high safety margin because of its high service ceiling for single engine.”
Several South American nations – including Brazil – are developing secondary airports and routes to support more remote communities, and this will also provide opportunities for the Q400, says Smith.
Winning a first order in the region for the CSeries narrowbody is also a priority for Bombardier. “There are a lot of airlines here using legacy aircraft and looking to re-fleet,” says Smith. “With its excellent airfield performance and the fact that it can fly anywhere on the continent, the CSeries has excellent prospects.”
The Learjet 75 – one of three new models from the Wichita-based light business jet brand – will also make its debut at FIDAE during a month-long Latin American demonstration tour of cities in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Guatemala and Brazil.
The 75 is the latest version of the Learjet 45. Along with its stablemate, the Learjet 70 (a reworked 40), the twinjet made its entry into service in December 2013. A third, all-new Learjet, the 85, is currently in the final stages of development ahead of first flight.