"By renewing our fleet, we are ensuring that Rega can continue to provide reliable and professional assistance to patients all over the world throughout the next 15 years," explains Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler. For Rega, the reliability of its aircraft is of decisive importance. As a result, the well-established Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft, which Rega has employed since 2002, will be replaced in the next few years with the next-generation Challenger 650 aircraft. The new jets will reduce maintenance requirements and this procurement will help maintain aircraft availability rates on already excellent levels.
A proven partner
Rega currently operates three Challenger 604 aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Business Aircraft. "The Challenger platform has absolutely proven its worth," says chief pilot, Urs Nagel. "We are very satisfied with our Challenger 604 aircraft, which is why we have decided to continue with another member of the Challenger family in the coming years." Indeed, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier and Rega have a long and established relationship; Rega acquired its first Challenger aircraft back in 1982 and has operated only Bombardier aircraft for the last 13 years.
"We are very proud that Rega continues to place its trust in Bombardier and in our aircraft," says Stephane Villeneuve, Vice President Specialised Aircraft at Bombardier. "We look forward to working together for many years to come." The new aircraft will feature the Bombardier Vision flight deck and higher-thrust engines for shorter take-off distance. In addition, the aircraft cabin is quieter, which is ultimately to the advantage of both patients and crew.
Investment of CHF 130 million
The signing of this purchase agreement marks the end of an evaluation period lasting around two years. A broadly-based Rega task force meticulously appraised the aircraft market based on the specific requirements of both Rega and its patients. Finally, a recommendation was submitted to the Foundation Board to purchase the Bombardier Challenger aircraft - thus remaining loyal to a tried and tested product. Rega estimates that the cost of procuring the three Challenger 650 aircraft will total CHF 130 million. This sum has already been earmarked in Rega's long-term financial planning, and its healthy financial position means that this project can be funded without outside capital.