Bombardier is making the most of the Farnborough Airshow after signing agreements for six Q400 NextGen turboprops and announcing 40 new orders for its yet-to-be-released CSeries jet.

The Montreal-based aircraft maker has been showing off its products at Farnborough Airshow, a week-long trade event in Hampshire, U.K., considered one of the most important in the aerospace calendar.

Bombardier used the airshow to introduce a cargo-passenger version of the Q400 that  can carry up to 3,690 kg of cargo and 50 passengers.

Tech Mahindra to open in Montreal

Bombardier C series

Four of the Bombardier employees accused of falsely representing themselves as engineers worked on the company's CSeries aircraft. (Ryan Remoritz/Canadian Press)

Tech Mahindra, a company that provides engineering and information technology to the aerospace industry, also announced at Farnborough that it will build Canadian headquarters in Montreal.

It expects to create 300 jobs in Montreal over the next two years, supplying Bombardier and other aerospace partners.

Test flights for Bombardier’s CSeries jet are on hold and the aircraft grounded because of an engine problem that turned up in testing earlier this year.

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has said the problem was a seal issue within the oil system and Bombardier expects test flights to resume within weeks after a fix is completed.  

But there still appears to be appetite for the narrow-bodied, medium-range passenger jet, in part because of its promise fuel efficiency.  

More orders for CSeries

Bombardier says U.K.-based Falko Regional Aircraft Ltd. had signed a letter of intent for up to 24 CS100 jets, valued at an estimated $1.5 billion US, just ahead of the airshow.

China’s Zhejiang Loong Airlines has ordered 20 CS100  and Petra Airlines, based in Jordan, also signed a letter of intent for two CS100 and two CS300 aircraft.

Although the CSeries is not on show at Farnborough, the Montreal aircraft maker unveiled the cargo-passenger version of the Q400 regional aircraft, which also has an extra-capacity version that carries 86 passengers.

Ray Jones, senior vice-president, sales, marketing and asset management for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said the new version is suited for airlines operating routes with medium to low passenger loads, but high cargo potential.

Horizon Air Industries Inc. of Seattle, which already operates a fleet of Q400 planes, ordered an additional airliner valued at $32.6 million US.

Falcon Aviation Services of Abu Dhabi also signed a letter of intent for five Q400s, in addition to confirming orders for three more of the aircraft and for two CS300 aircraft.

Bombardier will also oversee maintenance of the Alaska Air Group subsidiary's existing fleet of 52 Q400 aircraft at its facility in Tucson, Ariz. as well as providing an addition Q400 to Alaska Air.

With files from the Canadian Press