First NexGen Q440s On The Bombardier Assembly Line To Offer New Dual-Class Seating Configuration
Bombardier announced today that Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines is the first airline to take delivery of Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners outfitted with a dual-class configuration on the production line. The two airliners delivered so far, have already entered service with Ethiopian Airlines and its affiliate ASKY Airlines of Togo. The new configuration – featuring seven business class and 60 economy seats; fore and aft lavatories; and a galley outfitted to provide cold and hot meals – demonstrates the flexibility of the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s passenger cabin. The new configuration has also provided the airlines with increased cargo capacity. ASKY Airlines will operate three of the five dual-class Q400 NextGen aircraft ordered by Ethiopian Airlines in February 2012.
“We are very happy with this unique turboprop configuration. In addition to the enhanced, comfortable interiors that the Q400 NextGen turboprop are known for, adding the dual-class seating enables us to provide the best possible service on domestic and regional routes,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines. “Now our Cloud Nine customers can enjoy a full business class service and our connecting passengers from Ethiopian and the Star Alliance network will benefit from a greatly improved product in line with our continuous effort to provide a seamless travel experience.” Mr. Gebremariam also said that the airline’s original Q400 NextGen aircraft will be retrofitted with the new interiors.
“On the performance side, the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s ability in hot weather and high altitude conditions is extremely important to our operations,” said Mr. Gebremariam. “Overall, our experience with this excellent aircraft in a wide range of weather and other conditions proves that it is ideally suited for operations in Africa.”
“As a repeat Q400 aircraft customer, Ethiopian Airlines has grown to become one of Africa’s leading airlines and together with ASKY, they are taking full advantage of the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s cabin and operational flexibility,” said Raphael Haddad, Vice-president, Sales, Middle East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Add in the aircraft’s high speed and low operating costs – and you have a new-generation turboprop that can’t be beat.”