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Bombardier to take Q400 on Russian roadshow

Bombardier is to conduct a presentation tour in Russia with one of its Q400 turboprops after several local carriers have signalled interest in the type.

Moscow office chief Sergei Ermolayev says the event is scheduled for the end of May and will be part of a Q400 global roadshow.

He adds: "The details of its Russian leg are under discussion with local authorities but there certainly will be a stop in [Tatarstan's capital] Kazan, among others.

"We see a clear business case for using regional turborpops on short-to-medium range routes in Russia and elsewhere, both from fuel efficiency and speed standpoints."

Kazan-based charter operator Tulpar Air expects Bombardier to fly the Q400 to Kazan after demonstrating it in Yakutsk and Ekaterinburg.

Following recent talks with Bombardier, vice-premier of the Yakutia republic Alexei Struchkov said the Q400 could be an optimal replacement for Antonov An-24s used on intra-regional services.

The two sides have reportedly agreed to consider the matter after the aircraft undergoes cold soak trials on local routes next winter under its Russian certification programme.

Tulpar Air director general Sergei Trifonov says the carrier is also evaluating the Q400 and will probably start with taking a financial lease on one second-hand or newly-built example.

Sister company Tulpar Technik is due to obtain approval to provide technical support for Bombardier aircraft soon. "This is one of the factors we're taking into account," Trifonov noted.

Aeroflot management previously indicated the potential for using Q400s at its regional subsidiaries Sakhalin Airways and Saratov Airlines, with the latter expressing willingness to acquire three aircraft.

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