Bombardier cracks Korea

South Korean carrier, Jeju Air, has placed a $120 million order with Bombardier Aerospace for five 74-seat Bombardier Q400 airliners.

Bombardier Aerospace announced yesterday that Jeju Air of South Korea has placed a firm order for five 74-seat Bombardier Q400 airliners and taken options on three additional aircraft. Jeju Air is Bombardier Aerospace’s first South Korean regional airline customer.

The firm order contract is valued at approximately $120 million and could rise to $196 million if the options are converted to firm orders.

Jeju Air was formed in January, 2005 by the Aekyung Group and the Jeju Provincial Government to provide low-fare air services between Jeju Island and the South Korean mainland. Jeju Air has indicated that it will initially link Jeju Island with Seoul-Gimpo, Busan, Daegu and Cheongju. The airline plans to begin operations in time for the peak summer travel season in 2006.

“We evaluated several turboprop and jet aircraft and selected the Bombardier Q400 because it is the most economical and comfortable turboprop aircraft in the world making it the most ideal aircraft for our operation,” said Sang Kil Joo, President, Jeju Air. “The competitively low operating costs will enable us to be a domestic airline, and we plan to price our airfares 30 per cent lower than the competition.”

The Jeju Air transaction increases to 147 the number of firm orders for the 68 to 78 passenger Bombardier Q400 aircraft.