Bombardier has won a major deal at Air New Zealand (ANZ) to supply up to 40 Dash 8 turboprops for delivery from next year.

The airline says it has agreed to place firm orders for 17 new 50-seat Dash 8 Q300s to replace domestic subsidiary Air Nelson's 17 smaller Saab 340As. It is also taking options on 23 more Dash 8s.

Deliveries are due to begin in July 2005 and one aircraft will be added every six weeks, says ANZ. The Q300s will be maintained at Air Nelson's engineering base in Nelson. Bombardier says the contract includes options on 10 more Q300s, plus 13 70-seat Q400s, meaning it could eventually be for up to 40 aircraft.

ANZ selected the Q300 over the ATR 42 and secondhand Saab 340B/340B+s. The ATR 42 was seen as an early favourite in the competition as another ANZ subsidiary, Mount Cook Airlines, operates 11 larger ATR 72-500s. ANZ owns 10 of its 33-seat Saab 340As and leases the remaining seven. It says the larger Q300 "will allow an increase in passenger capacity and less restricted payload on regional routes".



Source: Flight International