Bom­bardier signs sec­ond big jet deal

Times Colonist - - Business - ROSS MAROWITS

MON­TREAL — Bom­bardier Inc. said its deal with Air­bus has yet to ig­nite new sales dis­cus­sions, but ex­ist­ing ef­forts have yielded re­sults as the man­u­fac­turer an­nounced back-to-back po­ten­tial or­ders in­clud­ing one with Africa’s largest air­line.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Alain Belle­mare told an in­vestor con­fer­ence Tues­day he fielded up­beat calls from some large air­lines — in­clud­ing Air­bus cus­tomers — hours af­ter the deal was an­nounced.

“That’s the rea­son why I’m con­vinced that we are go­ing to see much bet­ter sales mov­ing for­ward,” he said at the Gold­man Sachs In­dus­tri­als Con­fer­ence in Bos­ton.

Bom­bardier has signed its sec­ond po­ten­tial C Se­ries order in less than two weeks af­ter Egyp­tAir Hold­ing Co. an­nounced plans to pur­chase up to 24 air­craft. The agree­ment an­nounced at the Dubai Air­show in­cludes 12 CS300 air­craft with pur­chase rights for an ad­di­tional 12 air­craft.

Belle­mare ac­knowl­edged the or­ders had noth­ing to do with Air­bus even though the part­ner­ship gave cus­tomers added com­fort that the Euro­pean gi­ant will put its full weight be­hind the C Se­ries.

“This is very good, but it’s the work our team was do­ing with air­line cus­tomers,” he told an­a­lysts. “It keeps on build­ing the mo­men­tum up.”

Bom­bardier said that based on the list price of the CS300, a firm order for 12 air­craft would be val­ued at about $1.4 bil­lion US. That would dou­ble if the air­line ex­er­cises the 12 pur­chase rights. How­ever, air­lines typ­i­cally re­ceive large dis­counts.

“It would be dif­fi­cult to wish for a bet­ter car­rier to estab­lish our pres­ence in the re­gion,” Colin Bole, Bom­bardier se­nior vice pres­i­dent com­mer­cial aero­space, said in a con­fer­ence call with re­porters from Dubai.

“It’s a great tem­plate and it is some­thing that will be fol­lowed ex­tremely closely by the other car­ri­ers in the re­gions and the sub re­gions in the area.”

The C Se­ries has also been or­dered by Iraqi Air­ways, Saudi Gulf and Gulf Air.

The na­tional air­line of Egypt told re­porters in Dubai that while it has been study­ing the C Se­ries for a long time, Air­bus’ in­volve­ment makes them feel bet­ter about the pro­gram, Bom­bardier com­mer­cial air­craft pres­i­dent Fred Cromer added.

Egyp­tAir chair­man Safwat Musal­lam said the planes will help the air­line to mod­ern­ize its fleet and bet­ter serve des­ti­na­tions in the Mid­dle East and Europe.

An­a­lyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group SAID Air­bus’ in­volve­ment will as­suage fears that the C Se­ries will be an “or­phan” air­plane be­cause it will have the sup­port of the Euro­pean aero­space gi­ant.

The Bom­bardier CS300 per­forms a demon­stra­tion flight at the Paris Air Show.

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