Air Connection Express—a consortium of Angolan airlines, airport oversight and operations entities—has firmed an order for six Bombardier Q400 turboprops, valued at $198 million at list prices.

The aim is to operate the Q400s on domestic flights under the Air Connection Express banner as a regional feeder airline to national flag carrier TAAG Angolan Airlines, a member of the consortium, Bombardier said. Air Connection Express was known as Angola Expresso prior to formation of the public-private partnership consortium.

“The Q400 will be instrumental in driving economic growth in Angola,” Air Connection Express founding committee representative Alcinda Pereira said. “Selecting the leading turboprop in Africa will enable us to better serve communities across the country with modern passenger comfort and improved connectivity.”

“The Q400 has proven to be a key contributor to the growth of the [air travel] network in the region, enhancing connectivity on routes that are not economically viable for larger aircraft,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft VP-sales, Middle East and Africa, Jean-Paul Boutibou said, noting that more than 37 operators currently fly Q series aircraft in Africa.

In addition to TAAG, members of the consortium include Angolan carriers Airjet, Air 26, Diexim, SJL and Air Guicango, as well as air taxi operator Mavewa, airport ground handling/maintenance provider Bestfly and Angolan national airport management company ENANA (National Enterprise for the Operations of Airports and Air Traffic Control).

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com