Bombardier has secured an order for three Q400 turboprops from Bangladesh national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the Canadian manufacturer said Sept. 10.

The order, valued at $106 million at list prices, was placed via a purchase agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corp. (CCC), the independently operated government-owned Crown Corp. that helps Canadian exporters gain access to foreign government procurement markets.

“Without hesitation, we can say that [Q400s] are ideal for our domestic and regional operations,” Biman MD and CEO A M Mosaddique Ahmed said, highlighting the aircraft’s economics and operational flexibility as factors enabling Biman to offer high frequency services within Bangladesh and neighboring countries.

Biman already operates two leased-in Q400s, in addition to an all-Boeing fleet of two owned 737-800s, two leased-in 777-200ERs, two leased-in 777-300s, four owned 777-300ERs and one owned 787-8 (with three more Dreamliners still on order).

The airline—based at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with secondary hubs at Shah Amanat International in Chittagong and Osmani International in Sylhet—flies 15 passenger and cargo routes to Asia and Europe as well as seven domestic routes within Bangladesh.

“The Q400’s mix of turboprop economics and jet-like performance were the best match for Biman’s mix of short- and long-range routes,” Bombardier VP sales-Asia-Pacific François Cognard said. “Operators coming back for more Q400 aircraft really validates the benefits of the aircraft’s unique characteristics.”

As of June 30, Bombardier has gained new orders for 20 Q400s so far in 2018, half of which came from Ethiopian Airlines. In August, China’s CIB Leasing converted half of is order for 10 CRJs to five 90-seat Q400s. With the Biman order, Bombardier has now added 28 Q400s to its current backlog of approximately 64 aircraft. Bombardier delivered seven Q400s to four customers during the first half of 2018, including two each to Ethiopian Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Canada’s WestJet Encore, and one to Canadian aerial firefighting operator Conair.

Mark Nensel