Gulfstream International Airlines To Purchase Six Saab 340Bplus Aircraft


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Gulfstream International Airlines To Purchase Six Saab 340Bplus Aircraft

By Eddy Metcalf

October 30, 2011 - Gulfstream International Airlines (“Gulfstream”) has reached an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing to purchase six, 34-seat Saab 340Bplus aircraft. The Fort Lauderdale-based airline, which serves more destinations in The Bahamas than any other U.S. carrier, will deploy all six Saab’s along its Florida/Bahamas routes, replacing smaller, 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.  

“This investment will enhance our customers’ flight experiences by providing them with the premium service and comfort they value and deserve,” said Darrell Richardson, CEO of Gulfstream International Airlines.  

Saab 340Bplus aircraft features include comfortable seating for 34 passengers, large, easy-to-access overhead bins, personalized flight attendant service, an active noise reduction system, and convenient on-board lavatories.  

Gulfstream will integrate the six Saab 340Bplus’ into its fleet over a nine-month period beginning in mid-November 2011 when the first 340Bplus is slated for delivery. Each aircraft will be subject to a period of inspection and certification under U.S. and Bahamian aviation regulations to ensure full compliance with all safety and operational requirements prior to initiating scheduled passenger service. In-service dates for the new aircraft type will be announced upon receipt of regulatory approvals.  

Originally designated as the SF340, the aircraft first flew on 25 January 1983. When Fairchild exited the aircraft manufacturing business in 1985 after about 40 units, Saab dropped the name Fairchild from the project and continued aircraft production under the designation Saab 340A and 159 A models were built. An improved version, the second generation 340B, introduced more powerful engines and wider horizontal stabilizers in 1989 and the later 340Bs also had an active noise control system. Two hundred aircraft were built.  

The final third generation version, the 340B Plus, was delivered for service in 1994 and incorporated improvements that were being introduced at the same time in the Saab 2000. One hundred aircraft were built adding up to a total of 300 B models. The Saab 340 typically seated between 30 and 36 passengers, with 34 seats being the most common configuration. The last two 340s built were constructed as older configuration 36-seat aircraft for Japan Air Commuter.


One of the improvements introduced in the 340B Plus was the installation of an active noise and vibration control system in the cabin, reducing noise and vibration levels by about 10 dB during cruising flight. This optional feature carried over from the 340B was standard in the 340B Plus along with extended wingtips which was an option on the 340B, about 30 aircraft have the WT option.  

Another change from earlier models was a more modern interior design and the moving of the lavatory compartment from the aft of the passenger cabin to just aft of the flight deck in most 3rd generation units. This increased total available cargo volume as the original location intruded into the cargo bin area. While the active noise control became standard on all Saab 340Bs in 1994 the first ever 340B Plus (third B+ built) was delivered new to Hazelton Airlines in Australia in 1995, later operating for Regional Express, and currently for the Japanese Coast Guard. 

Gulfstream International Airlines, Gulfstream (IATA: 3M) is a U.S. airline operating 100+ daily scheduled flights to and from 29 gateways in Florida, The Bahamas, Montana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The company is owned by Victory Park Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm that launched Gulfstream in May 2011 following the acquisition of select assets from the former Gulfstream International Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2010.

Gulfstream is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL and operates under a principal code share and alliance agreement with Continental Airlines, United Airlines and Copa Airlines. The Gulfstream fleet is comprised of 21 Beechcraft 1900D aircraft (maximum seating capacity: 19 passengers), each powered by jet-turbine engines.

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