Thanks to DJ’s Aviation for the above clip. I literally woke up, checked my phone, and gasped as I saw this on the top of my notifications stream. In the wake of them losing the A220 I never imagined they’d go even lower. Bombardier is by far my second favorite commercials manfucatuerer and this seems a low blow to the company. They claim it’s to put more emphasis on their CRJ regional market as aging aircraft like the B717 and MD models are leaving Airlines fleets.
I don’t know what the new Q400 will be called, and I don’t know how current airlines will handle it, but this seems super strange. What are your thoughts?
A lot of regional airlines use the Dash 8 series. QantasLink uses the Q400, WestJet Encore uses the Q400 and so does Porter. The Q400 is pretty popular among those regional airlines where it is not profitable to use a jet like an A320 or a B737. The Dash 8 is more fuel efficient that it’s rival, the ATR 72 plus it can carry more passengers. According to Sir Mustang
Virgin Australia has compensated QantasLinks Q400 use with their ATR turboprop fleet, which wasn’t nessesarily beneficial to them, and have made things worse by leasing 20 year old Fokker Jets from Alliance to compensate with QantasLinks Q400 routes. (Such as Brisbane-Bundaberg, Brisbane-Gladstone and many more)
Where I live, Qantas uses the Q400 to fly the Mackay-Brisbane route and vice versa (And occasionally a Boeing 717-200), and Virgin Australia - Well, a large Boeing 737-800. Who takes first place here? Most likely Qantas as the Turboprop is fuel efficient, much cheaper to operate and very comfortable.
There is a market for this type of airplane, and I hope some manufacturer takes advantage of this deal. In my opinion, Boeing should take interest in this and compete with the ATR series, although there is doubt as Airbus has a pretty big eye for the Bombardier range and the current feud with both companies it seems less likely, but miracles can happen. lol.
[EDIT: Just saw Viking Air will take over this product. RIP Boeing 🙁]
The Q400 is by far one of the most comfortable airplanes I have ever flown on. Sometimes I think it beats flying an A320 or B737. Although, the noise from a Turboprop is a problem, it makes it up for in its ride and handling. God bless the Q400. 🙏🏼
Wow, this is pretty shocking news, it’s amazing how much Bombardier is changing. While it is sad to see, I look forward to see what Viking Air does with the program. I think they were the right people to sell it to, as they own several aircraft that are similar to the Dash 8 including the Dash 7, the DHC 5, and the Twin otter (see website). I wonder if they might even bring back the older Q300s and Q200s that Bombardier stopped manufacturing.
Depends on what you will be utilising it for. The CRJ series is faster, and can do many flight cycles per day when it is flying more than 500 miles, but the Q400 and any turboprops have an advantage when the distance is less than that. Although, sometimes (depending on the route) the Q400 will also be faster than the CRJ series, as well as being much more fuel efficient.
One example I can possibly provide is that Virgin previously used to serve Townsville Airport with their own ATR series then to 20 year old leased Fokker 100 jets to fly to Cairns (approximately 350 km north, which equates to a 3.5-4hr drive by car, or 45 minutes flight time), but using a jet required much more fuel, and therefore costing passengers more money to fly to Cairns. They sadly pulled out of that route, and QantasLink is the only one to serve that route, and guess what with? It’s a Q400. The route sees up to 7 Q400’s flying that route daily. Although, I don’t know why people want to fly to Cairns via Townsville for around $120 when it’s cheaper to drive. lol
Using a turboprop on such short routes not only means low fares, but also means more profits for the airline as the plane doesn’t use much fuel. Operating route with a smaller 76 turboprop plane compared to a 100 seat jet airliner is pretty self explanatory, when it comes to profitability.
I can tell you this right now, Regional Express operates old Saab 340 props, but they are getting old. They want a turboprop that can succeed those planes, but also make it more profitable for the airline - as REX previously has had many mechanical failures with those aircraft, I think an engine fell off of one. (Goes to show the Aircraft is like the Automobiles they made previously 😂)
But to the point, they will probably need to look at another turboprop to replace their existing fleet of Saab’s. If they were looking at it now, it would be weighed up between the Dash 8 and the ATR series, but if it’s in future, there might be a whole lot of new technology to compensate.
End of story, it goes to show currently Turboprops are a most needed aircraft in the Aviation world today.