Bombardier employees and guests from the Azores today celebrated the upcoming delivery of the first Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner to Grupo SATA of the Azores, Portugal. The aircraft is the first of four firm orders for SATA Air AÃ§ores, a Grupo SATA regional airline, and will be used to link the nine islands of the Azores as well as Madeira and the Canary Islands.
The ceremony for the 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft was also attended by approximately 20 journalists from Portugal and the Toronto area.
â€œThe Q400 NextGen aircraft are replacing older technology, less fuel-efficient aircraft that have been in service for a number of years,â€ said AntÃ³nio Gomes de Menezes, Chairman, Grupo SATA when the order was announced on March 31, 2008. â€œThe Bombardier Q400 NextGen airliner meets all of our requirements for increased passenger and cargo capacity, cabin comfort, lower fuel consumption and improved environmental compatability.â€
â€œIt is a pleasure to hand over a Q400 NextGen airliner to yet another operator,â€ said Kevin Smith, Senior Vice President Sales (Interim), Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. â€œSATA Air AÃ§ores joins 30 airlines and other operators that already have the aircraft in service. With more than 2 million hours and 2.2 million cycles logged, the worldwide fleet of Q400 aircraft is demonstrating that the fast, fuel-efficient, lower-emission turboprop is the airliner of choice for short-haul operations.â€
As of October 31, 2009 Bombardier had delivered 942 Q-Series turboprops, including 271 Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners.
Grupo SATA has continued to grow over recent years. With more than sixty years of experience in passenger and cargo air travel, SATA now provides a more modern and functional organizational structure, adapted to the challenges of an extremely demanding and competitive sector. The Grupo SATA fleet is divided between its two air transport companies, SATA Air AÃ§ores and SATA Internacional, which operate flights to the mainland and islands, Europe, the United States and Canada, with a combined network of flights including more than 50 destinations. Grupo SATA’s five companies are involved in air transport, tourism promotion, airfield management and ground-handling services for all airlines landing on Azorean soil.