Porter eyes more Bombardier Q400s

By David Field

Canadian startup carrier Porter Airlines may order additional Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

Company CEO Robert Deluce tells the Raymond James Growth Airline conference that "probably I shouldn't say this because there are Bombardier people here today, but we may be placing an order for more. Some discussions will have to take place first."

Deluce notes that the privately-held carrier has two options remaining in its original order for 10 firm and 10 options, "and they will soon be spoken for".

The carrier should have 18 of the 70-seat turboprops in service by year end, he says.

He praised the Q400's operating efficiencies, saying that its 30%-40% fuel advantage over jets enabled Porter "to avoid costly fuel hedges".

Industry estimates place the price of a new Q400 at about $30 million in current US dollars, although Deluce notes that Porter's original order was at lower prices. He says the carrier had "no difficulty" in financing those orders.

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