SAS hopes to complete Q400 disposal by mid-2009

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SAS Group has disposed of 12 of its 27 Bombardier Q400 turboprops, and expects to phase out another 10 in the fourth quarter.

In October last year the carrier chose to eliminate the type from its fleet following three landing accidents in quick succession - although it has since opted to acquire an upgraded version for Norwegian regional arm Wideroe.

Among the 12 aircraft already delivered are the three damaged examples. SAS Group expects all 27 aircraft to have left the company by the end of June next year.

The company has yet to identify fully the recipients of the aircraft. Austrian Airlines Group had originally been planning to acquire four but switched instead to new examples from the manufacturer.

This month SAS Group expects to take delivery of its first Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, part of a batch ordered to replace the Q400s.