U.S. Regionals Stick With Q400
Despite a decision by European air carrier SAS to stop flying its fleet of 27 Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 turboprops, airlines in the U.S. have said they intend to keep theirs in the air. Frontier Airlines, based in Denver, is working to launch a new turboprop service, Lynx, which will fly the Q400s. Five new aircraft have been delivered and orders for five more are in the works. "Safety, of course, is a top priority, and we're going to work closely with Bombardier to understand what the issues are and whether they are relevant to our fleet," Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas told the Rocky Mountain News. "At this point there's no change in our plans," he said, but added that since Lynx isn't expected to launch till the end of the year, there is time to make changes if needed. Bombardier said on Sunday it "stands behind the Q400 aircraft." Bombardier and the landing gear manufacturer, Goodrich, have completed a full review of the landing gear system and "results have confirmed its safe design and operational integrity," the company said in a news release.
More than 150 Q400 aircraft are in operation among 22 operators around the world. To date, the fleet has logged over one million flying hours and 1.2 million takeoff and landing cycles. SAS is the only airline that has grounded the airplanes.