On January 24, Bombar-dier Aerospace delivered the first of three CRJ900 NextGen regional jets ordered by Estonian Air in 2010. The transaction included options on two additional CRJ900 NextGen aircraft.
The handover to the Tallinn, Estonia-based airline was celebrated at Bombardier Aero-space’s facility in Mirabel, Québec, where the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft is manufactured alongside the CRJ700 NextGen and CRJ1000 NextGen regional jets.
“This a fundamental step forward for our company as we continue with our fleet optimization program,” said Andrus Aljas, President and Chief Executive Officer, Estonian Air. “To better meet Estonia’s market demands, we require an aircraft with less capacity than our larger jets. The CRJ900 NextGen airliner offers an excellent combination of performance, operating economics and passenger comfort.”
Mr. Aljas said Estonian Air will use the aircraft mainly on high-demand business destinations.
“Estonian Air is joining seven other European airlines that have ordered or operate a total of 78 CRJ900 regional jets,” said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “That represents almost 30 per cent of all CRJ900 aircraft ordered worldwide and is a fine endorsement of the superb qualities of this aircraft.
“The performance attributes, reliability and low operating costs of CRJ Series regional jets contribute to their success in all markets where they operate. We fully expect that Estonian Air will enjoy the same success as other operators with these aircraft,” added Mr. Scott.
First introduced to airline passengers in November 1992, Bombardier’s CRJ jetliner has grown to become the best-selling regional aircraft program in history, with 1,709 aircraft ordered and 1,606 delivered as of October 31, 2010. The CRJ jetliner family includes the original 50-seat CRJ100/200, 70-seat CRJ700, 75-seat CRJ705, 88-seat CRJ900 and the new 100-seat CRJ1000 aircraft. The current-production 70-, 88- and 100-seat aircraft are all “NextGen” models.
Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and have logged more than 28 million flight hours and over 23 million take-off and landing cycles. In addition to airline operations, more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of CRJ Series aircraft.
The Estonian Air’s new airplane crossed the Atlantic to Estonia on the following morning, and would make its maiden commercial flight on January 27, from Tallinn to Stockholm.
"Updating our airport to modern, more environmentally friendly and less fuel consumption airplanes will help us increase traveler numbers and improve Estonian Air's competitiveness,“ said Estonian Air president Andrus Aljas.
Of the three new airplanes ordered by Estonian Air – to begin making flights to Stockholm, Moskva and Brussels – another will also be ready before the end of the month, and the third in 2012.