Royal Jordanian Airlines set to take second Bombardier Q400 aircraft
The first of the previously owned, 72-passenger, 360-knot (667 km/h) aircraft, for which Royal Jordanian was the Middle East launch customer, entered revenue service on November 2, 2005. Royal Jordanian xpress serves Beirut, Damascus, Aleppo, Tel Aviv, Aqaba, Sharm El Sheikh and Al Arish and provides feed to Royal Jordanian Airlines’ international flights at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport. The routes were taken over from Royal Wings which had operated 50-passenger Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft since 1996.
"Royal Jordanian is delighted with Bombardier Aerospace," the airline said in a statement. "The Q400 is an ideal choice for our routes that demand outstanding economics along with state-of-the-art features of passenger comfort. Our passengers appreciate the spacious and comfortable cabin.
"The aircraft has the comfort, speed and technology of a jet, but at turboprop costs."
The 68- to 78-seat Q400 airliner has the lowest seat-mile costs of any regional airline aircraft. When operated by a typical full-service airline, a 70-seat Q400 aircraft can reach break-even with just 30 passengers (42 per cent load factor), leaving a profit potential of 40 seats. These very low operating costs have also allowed airlines like Flybe in England to introduce the 78-seat Q400 into "regional" low-fare business models and generate profits with aircraft half the size of those typically used by low-fare carriers.
"The Q400 aircraft’s advantage is not just economic," said Steven Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Regional Aircraft. "Though it retains the low fuel burn and excellent airfield performance characteristics of a turboprop, the aircraft also has the speed and productivity of a jet. The Q400 matches jet block times out to more than 300 nautical miles (555 kilometres) and takes only 10 minutes to reach 20,000 feet (6,100 metres)."
As of September 30, 2005, firm orders for the Q400 had reached 151 aircraft, with 104 delivered to 12 operators in North America, Europe and Asia.