Ghanaian airline Starbow has become the first Ghana-based operator of the Bombardier Q400 turboprop after it launched services with a Q400 NextGen aircraft wet-leased from Falcon Aviation Services LLC of Abu Dhabi.
Bombardier on 16 March announced that the aircraft is one of six that Falcon ordered from Bombardier in 2014. As announced in July 2014, Falcon and Bombardier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which they will jointly address the African market.
“In collaboration with Falcon, we are thrilled to have launched operations with the Q400 NextGen aircraft – the most technologically advanced 60- to 90-seat turboprop available today,” said, Eric Antwi, Chief Executive Officer, Starbow. “Our fleet renewal strategy will be well served by this modern, reliable and fuel-efficient aircraft, and we look forward to expanding our regional route network. In addition, we anticipate that our passengers will appreciate the Q400 NextGen aircraft’s quiet, comfortable cabin.”
“Starbow’s operation is yet another successful placement of the Q400 NextGen aircraft in sub-Saharan Africa and we are delighted to be collaborating with the airline in launching service from Ghana,” said Captain Mahmoud Ismael, Chief Operating Officer, Falcon Aviation Services. “The Q400 NextGen aircraft continues to prove its operational capability in Africa’s hot, topographically diverse landscape. The aircraft’s performance in the arid environments in the north; humid sub-Saharan regions; and at challenging airports such as those at high elevations or with unpaved runways, is a true testament to its value, making it an excellent asset in our portfolio.”
“Operators of Q400 NextGen turboprops continue to capitalize on the aircraft’s outstanding performance, and we are especially encouraged by the Q400 aircraft’s success in Africa, where we continue to be the market leader in the 20- to 99-seat turboprop segment,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are very happy to welcome Starbow to our family of owners and operators and wish the airline the very best for its future growth and development.”
In Africa approximately 55 Dash 8-100/200/300 turboprops, 60 Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops and 50 CRJ regional jets are in service with, or ordered by, more than 40 customers and operators.
Bombardier’s customer support network for commercial aircraft in Africa includes a Regional Support Office (RSO) and spare parts depot, co-located in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Authorized Service Facilities in South Africa and Ethiopia.
Starbow is a privately owned airline headquartered in Accra, Ghana. Operating domestically from its base at Kotoka International Airport, it is the largest Ghanaian airline. Starbow began domestic flights out of Kotoka International Airport on September 26, 2011, and is currently serving Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale Airports.