Halifax-based Jazz Air LP has signed a deal to buy 15 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, the regional airline announced Tuesday.

It also has options for an additional 15 aircraft.   

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Jazz will use the new planes to replace 15 smaller regional jets. ((CBC))

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Jazz, the regional partner of Air Canada, will use the 74-seat turboprop aircraft to replace 15 jets that seat up to 50 passengers each.

"This aircraft offers superior passenger comfort, fuel efficiency and improved environmental performance," CEO Joseph Randell said in a statement. "I'm confident our customers will appreciate the quiet interior and speed of this new technology."

Jazz expects to start taking delivery of the new aircraft in May 2011.

At the same time, parent Jazz Air Income Fund reported a fourth-quarter profit of $20.8 million. Operating revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 amounted to $351.2 million, down from $392.7 million in the last three months of 2008.

For all of 2009, Jazz said it earned $92.6 million or 76 cents per unit on $1.47 billion in revenue. That compared with a loss of $9.4 million or eight cents per unit on $1.64 billion in revenue in 2008.

With files from The Canadian Press