Friday, 9 November 2007

Could Air Canada Jazz Make an SAS Q400 Asset Grab?

It didn't take long for operators to start sniffing around SAS Group's grounded Q400 fleet.

Air Canada Jazz officials revealed yesterday during an earnings conference call that they are checking out the goods.

It makes perfect sense. Well over two years ago, Jazz said it was looking to add 70-seat Q400s "at some point" possibly by trading in some older, 50-seat CRJ100s (it flies about 22 of the type).

At that time, Jazz said the Q400 would be useful for some of its high-frequency turboprop routes such as Vancouver-Victoria.

Toronto City Center-based newbie Porter Airlines - of which Jazz is locked in a fierce legal battle - also happens to operate Q400s and claims to be doing quite well after one year of service, thank you very much.

When SAS grounded its 27 Q400s in the wake of three landing-gear incidents (two related to corrosion, and the last revealed as a maintenance error), analysts predicted the turboprops wouldn't have a problem finding homes.

Looks like the talking-heads were right.

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