An undisclosed buyer has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Bombardier NextGen Q400 turboprops, the Canadian airframer announced today.

The transaction, which is valued at $160 million at list prices, comes only four days after Bombardier identified China Express as the undisclosed buyer of 11 CRJ900 regional jets in October.

Bombardier executives were in China last week as part of a Canadian trade delegation to Beijing led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Also last week Bombardier announced an order by unidentified customer for six CRJ1000 regional jets and options to buy 18 more.

The Q400 is now in service or on order by about 40 operators, Bombardier said.

Sales of the Q400 plunged last year to only seven orders. The ATR 72 turboprop, however, amassed more than 150 orders in 2011.

But Bombardier has made strides in the first six weeks of 2011, already attracting 11 combined orders or purchase agreements for CRJ1000s and Q400s.

"The turboprop lives on," said Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news