Chorus Aviation to acquire five Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft
Existing Q400 and CRJ705 aircraft to be reconfigured
HALIFAX, NS -- Chorus Aviation Inc. today announced that it has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire five Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets, with firm purchase rights for five additional aircraft. As announced on September 28, 2015, the five firm aircraft will be operated under the Air Canada Express brand as per Jazz's Capacity Purchase Agreement ('CPA') with Air Canada. Chorus has arranged financing in support of this acquisition to be drawn at the time of closing.
The new CRJ900 aircraft will be leased into the CPA operation under terms and economics similar to those of the Q400 aircraft currently leased to the CPA.
These five 76-seat CRJ900 regional jets will enter into service in early 2017. As part of its fleet standardization plan, Jazz will reconfigure its existing 16 75-seat CRJ705 aircraft to 76-seats, thereby converting the CRJ705s to CRJ900 regional jets as agreed to with Air Canada. The aircraft will be configured in two classes of service with 12 seats in business class and 64 seats in economy class, including 20 preferred economy seats. Both cabins will feature seatback in-flight entertainment systems and Gogo wireless internet access.
"The ongoing modernization of the Jazz fleet is strengthening our ever-improving cost competitiveness in the North American market," said Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. "The addition of these new CRJ900s reduces unit costs and complements our fleet of Canadian-built Bombardier turboprops and regional jets. The advanced technology, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort of this aircraft offer a reliable and cost-effective regional jet solution for our growing fleet."
Jazz will also reconfigure 21 Q400 NextGen aircraft currently in its CPA covered fleet with an additional four seats to a 78-seat configuration. The all-economy cabin will have 10 preferred economy seats.
The reconfiguration of the 16 CRJ705 and 21 Q400 aircraft currently in Jazz's fleet will be performed by Jazz's Maintenance and Engineering Division, with the assistance of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, and is expected to be completed by year end 2017.