Montreal - Transport Canada awarded the Bombardier Q400 with certification for the 90-seat version of the aircraft. Thus, Bombardier's Q400 becomes the first turboprop aircraft in the world to have this capacity.

Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet placed an order for 25, 90-seat Q400 last year with an option for another 25 aircraft of the same type. The first delivery is expected by the end of this year.

With increasing growth in the number of passengers per departure in the turboprop market, we are excited to offer our customers a higher-capacity configuration and 15 percent lower cost per seat compared to the previous standard Q400,
said Todd Young, The program chief of the Q400.

Bombardier says the new 90-seat version of the Q400 consumes 15% less fuel per seat than the traditional 78-seat Q400.

The 90-seat cabin configuration marks another critical milestone in the evolution of Q400 as a turboprop plane with the highest passenger capacity ever.

Other improvements which are currently under development include a 2,000 lb (900kg) increase in payload capacity and remarkably longer A-Check and C-Check intervals from 600 to 6,000 and 800 to 8,000 flight hours.