MIAMI— Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has unveiled yesterday that Okinawa-based Ryukyu Air Commuter Co., Ltd (RAC) is the unidentified airline that had signed a firm purchase agreement at the Farnborough Airshow in 2014 for five Q400 with the new cargo-combi configuration.
Ryukyu Air Commuter is part of the Japan Airlines Group, operates domestic passenger services from the island of Okinawa to other islands of Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami Islands in Japan, and relies on the Bombardier Dash 8-100 as the mainstay of its fleet.
“Ryukyu Air Commuter shares a long history with Bombardier, collaborating together since 1997 when we first introduced Japan to the Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft. Since then, the Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft has become the backbone of our efficient and productive operation,” said Takashi Irei, President, Ryukyu Air Commuter.
Although delivery dates have not been announced, the arrival of the Q400s to RAC will standardize its Bombardier fleet to a sole type, besides providing the carrier flexibility to operate thin routes with cargo potential.
“Equipped with our new fleet of Q400 combi aircraft, Ryukyu Air Commuter looks forward to carrying many additional passengers as they enjoy travelling around Japan’s Okinawa islands,” added Mr. Irei.
Launched in July 2014, the Q400 combi variant offers up to four different configurations, with a seating configuration varying from 50 to 68 seats, and up to 1,150 cubic feet of cargo volume. The manufacturer assures that the aircraft’s “Class C” cargo compartments are designed to meet the industry’s latest regulations.
To date, the Q400 is part of the fleet in over 60 owners and operators in almost 40 countries, logging more than 6 million flight hours and transporting more than 370 million passengers.