Air Wisconsin has placed a firm order for four 50-seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs), worth $84 million.

The US regional will fly the aircraft under the United Express banner from Denver, Colorado, from the first quarter of 1999.

Air Wisconsin says that the CRJ allows service to high-altitude airports without loss of payload. The CRJ also extends the market reach to 2,250km (1,200nm) - beyond the 1,600km possible with the 88-seat BAe 146, which it operates.

The 50-seat aircraft fills the gap between the 146 and the 32-seat Dornier 328 turboprop operated by Air Wisconsin subsidiary, Mountain Air Express. Air Wisconsin operates 18 146s, while Mountain Air has 10 328s.

Source: Flight International