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Jazz Air LP announces intention to acquire Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft

Feb 9, 2010

HALIFAX, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - Today, Jazz Air LP ("Jazz") announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions, to finalize a binding purchase agreement for a firm order of 15 Q400 NextGen aircraft with options for an additional 15 aircraft.

Aircraft deliveries are planned to commence in May 2011. The aircraft will accommodate 74 passengers, and will be configured with a single cabin.

"The introduction of the Q400 NextGen aircraft is a perfect complement to our fleet of Canadian built Bombardier turboprops and regional jets," said Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jazz. "This aircraft offers superior passenger comfort, fuel efficiency and improved environmental performance. I'm confident our customers will appreciate the quiet interior and speed of this new technology."

"Jazz's extensive route network spans North America; the Q400 NextGen provides the right economics and seat capacity to efficiently serve our many niche markets that include short to medium length routes," Mr. Randell went on to say. "We continuously strive to improve our economics to provide better value to our stakeholders. The operating costs of the Q400 NextGen are among the lowest of any regional aircraft. The agreement reached last year with Air Canada to extend the term of our commercial agreement and their commitment to fleet renewal will strengthen our position in our industry."

The first 15 Q400 NextGen turboprops will replace 15 50-seat regional jets. The terms and conditions of the proposed purchase transaction are confidential.

The Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner is the most recent development in the evolution of the original Q400 aircraft. The Q400 NextGen features an enhanced cabin environment with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls and larger overhead luggage bins. These features combined with the Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system provides an excellent cabin experience.

 

Jazz is the second largest airline in Canada based on fleet size and the number of routes operated. Jazz operates more flights and flies to more Canadian destinations than any other carrier. Jazz forms an integral part of Air Canada's domestic and transborder market presence and strategy.

Jazz is not a typical airline. Jazz's commercial agreement, the capacity purchase agreement ("the CPA"), with Air Canada is the core of its business. Under the CPA, Air Canada currently purchases substantially all of Jazz's fleet capacity based on predetermined rates. The CPA provides commercial flexibility, low trip costs and connecting network traffic to Air Canada.

 

Quarterly Investor Conference Call / Audio Webcast
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Jazz Air Income Fund will hold an analyst call at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 to discuss the fourth quarter and year end results, as well as its plans to introduce the Q-400 NextGen aircraft. The call may be accessed by dialing 1-888-231-8191 or (647) 427-7450 for the Toronto area. The call will be simultaneously audio webcast via: http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/viewEvent.cgi?eventID=2929740 or in the Investor Relations section of Jazz's website at www.flyjazz.ca. This is a listen-in only audio webcast. Media Player or Real Player is required to listen to the broadcast; please download well in advance of the call.

The conference call webcast will be archived on Jazz's Investor Relations website at www.flyjazz.ca. A playback of the call can also be accessed until midnight ET, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, by dialing (416) 849-0833 or toll-free 1- 800-642-1687, and passcode - 50069075# (pound key).


For further information: Media Contacts: Manon Stuart, (902) 873-5054, Halifax, manon.stuart@flyjazz.ca; Debra Williams, (519) 457-8071, London, debra.williams@flyjazz.ca; Analyst Contact: Nathalie Megann, (902) 873-5094, www.flyjazz.ca