Industry talk about the need for a 90-seat turboprop is well known. Both of the principal OEMs, ATR and Bombardier, have not rushed to develop something new. As we have heard both OEMs say at ISTAT – the business case for developing a new aircraft isn’t there.
Today Bombardier announced their Q400 can now seat 90. The company estimates the 12 to 14 additional seats deliver ~$8m in extra value to customers. Further boosting the aircraft, Bombardier also announced a 2,000 lb-increase in payload and an escalation of the A-Check and C-Check intervals from 600/6,000 to 800/8,000 flight hours, all available for entry-into-service as early as 2018.
Previously the maximum seating on the Q400 was 86 on Nok Air.