IFC leases its first foreign-built aircraft

IFC firmed up one of ots Q400 options to facilitate the Jambojet deal The Bombardier Q400 goes to Kenyan LCC Jambojet (Bombardier)

Moscow-based lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) has leased two Bombardier Q400 regional turboprops to Kenyan low-cost carrier (LCC) Jambojet, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways. This is the Russian company’s first contract involving Western-built aircraft.

The deal was struck shortly after IFC firmed up one of its five Q400 options and added it to its single firm order for the type, Bombardier reports.

“The agreement for these next-generation turboprops signifies a key development in IFC’s international leasing business,” Alexander Rubtsov, the lessor’s general director, commented. “The demand for high-performance turboprops like the Q400 continues to grow, and we are happy to enter into this lease deal with Jambojet.”

Willem Hondius, the Hambojet CEO, had this to say: “We are impressed with the level of professionalism that IFC exhibited throughout the process leading up to this first agreement, and we are delighted to have found a trusted and reliable partner to support our development plans.”

The first Q400 delivery to Jambojet is expected in May; the second airframe is planned to be delivered before the end of this year. The two aircraft will bring the total Bombardier Q-series fleet on the African continent up to 120 (this includes 70 Q400 airliners).

“We are proud of the Q400 aircraft’s continued success in Africa,” commented Jean-Paul Boutibou, Bombardier Commercial’s vice-president for sales in the Middle East and Africa. “Jambojet’s operations illustrate the capabilities and qualities of the Q400 aircraft that make it uniquely suitable for the region.”

Bombardier has a total of 573 Q400s on firm order.

Jambojet was created less than two years ago, and operates flights from Kenya’s capital city Nairobi to domestic destinations. The airline’s fleet comprises two Q400s and two Boeing 737s.

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