BUSINESS

Bombardier adds Mongolia to global customer base with Eznis Airways taking Q400

09/21/2012 12:31 EDT | Updated 11/21/2012 05:12 EST
MONTREAL - Bombardier Aerospace has added Mongolia to its global customer base after Eznis Airways acquired a used Q400 turbo from Danish leasing company to add to its fleet of Swedish and British built planes.

The central Asian country's largest private airline bought the Toronto-made turbo from Nordic Aviation Capital after receiving government approval to fly the aircraft type.

The 70- to 78-seat Q400 has also been certified by the Interstate Aviation Committee to operate in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Rod Sheridan, vice-president customer finance for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said the Q400 is an important part of its strategy to enter new markets.

"We're delighted to welcome Eznis Airways as one of five new operators that have ordered or acquired the Q400 aircraft this year, and the first in Mongolia," he said in a news release.

The airline's CEO said the plane is suited for Mongolia's difficult conditions of high winds, large swings in temperatures, and high elevation airports.

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines, the Q400 can quickly climb above the strong summer head winds that blow across Mongolia and navigate strong northerly winds at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in UIaanbaatar, where Eznis is based.

The plane also has capabilities to quickly descend over the mountains and access high elevation airports in the mountainous regions of the country.

The Q400 aircraft has been certified for gravel runways in rural Mongolia, enabling Eznis to fly mining charter customers directly to mine sites.

The nearly seven-year-old airline operates domestic scheduled and charter flights to 11 destinations in nine Mongolia provinces and international service to China's Inner Mongolia region, Russia's Buryat Republic and Kazakhstan.

Eznis operates a fleet of two Avro RJ85 and four Saab 340B aircraft.

Bombardier has booked firm orders for 460 Q400 planes and delivered aircraft to more than 40 operators in 33 countries.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier shares gained four cents at $3.72 in midday trading.