DomBArDiEr CEl­E­BrAtEs lAnD­inG t1.7Bn DEAl For EGyp­tAir plAnEs

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

BOM­BARDIER has been given an early Christ­mas present worth up to £1.7bn af­ter land­ing a deal for as many as 24 of its jets, which are partly made in Belfast.

The Cana­dian-owned aero­space firm has se­cured a firm order for 12 of its CS300 pas­sen­ger planes with Egyp­tAir, which has an op­tion for a fur­ther dozen jets.

The deal, which is worth up to $2.2bn (£1.7bn), was re­vealed at the Dubai Air­show.

Safwat Musal­lam, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Egyp­tAir, said: “It is our plea­sure to have this new part­ner­ship with Bom­bardier, which came as a con­tin­u­a­tion of our fleet mod­erni­sa­tion strat­egy.

“We un­der­took a thor­ough eval­u­a­tion process of our fleet and re­alised that the CS300 would fit per­fectly into our busi­ness plans and growth strat­egy.

“We se­lected the C Se­ries air­craft be­cause its ex­cel­lent range will al­low us to best serve do­mes­tic and re­gional des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing neigh­bour­ing Arab ci­ties, the Mid­dle East, as well as sev­eral Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions.

“This is in ad­di­tion to the CS300 air­craft’s ex­cep­tional eco­nom­ics and out­stand­ing cabin.

“We look for­ward to ex­pand­ing our net­work with the CS300 and we are happy to see that the part­ner­ship an­nounced with Air-

Bom­bardier Com­mer­cial Air­craft pres­i­dent Fred Cromer (left) and Egyp­tair CEO Safwat Musal­lam sign the deal

bus will bring added sup­port to the C Se­ries pro­gram.”

Bom­bardier Com­mer­cial Air­craft Pres­i­dent Fred Cromer said he was “thrilled that Egyp­tAir se­lected the CS300 air­craft to re­new its fleet”.

“Bom­bardier’s 20-year mar­ket out­look fore­sees de­mand for 450 air­planes in the 60 to 150-seat cat­e­gory for the re­gion and this LOI (let­ter of in­tent) con­firms the need for right-sized air­craft in the Mid­dle East,” he said.

“We are con­fi­dent that our small sin­gle-aisle C Se­ries is ide­ally-suited to serve the hot tem­per­a­ture

his­toric deal with its one-time ri­val.

He was speak­ing in Dubai af­ter Air­bus an­nounced it is tak­ing a ma­jor­ity stake in the C Se­ries pas­sen­ger planes, which are partly made in Belfast.

The fu­ture of some 4,000 jobs at Bom­bardier’s North­ern Ire­land sites has been threat­ened fol­low­ing a chal­lenge by aero­space gi­ant Boe­ing. That led to a pre­lim­i­nary rul­ing by the US Depart­ment of Com­merce, which could see a 300% tax ap­plied to all C Se­ries sales to the US.

Speak­ing about the lat­est deals for Bom­bardier, and the claims the Belfast fac­tory could sup­ply Air­bus, Martin Craigs, a for­mer Shorts/Bom­bardier mar­ket man and ex-chief ex­ec­u­tive of Pa­cific Asia Travel As­so­ci­a­tion (PATA), said: “A sub­stan­tial re­peat order for the C Se­ries mixed with on the record com­ments of po­ten­tial Air­bus sub-con­tract work at this week’s Dubai Air­show is good rea­son for early Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion in Belfast.

“As pre­dicted, me­dia and in­dus­try com­men­ta­tors are go­ing to have to get used to reg­u­larly di­gest­ing and am­pli­fy­ing good news from my for­mer Short Broth­ers col­leagues.”

East Belfast MP Gavin Robin­son (be­low) said the new deal is “sig­nif­i­cant and shows the grow­ing en­thu­si­asm that sur­rounds the C Se­ries jet”.

“This comes on the back of a let­ter of in­tent from a Euro­pean com­pany ear­lier in the month to pur­chase 61 C Se­ries jets and of course the re­cent deal with Air­bus,” he said.

“It shows that com­pa­nies are giv­ing Bom­bardier a vote of con­fi­dence and are will­ing to do busi­ness, given the in­ge­nu­ity of the work­force here and the qual­ity of air­craft pro­duced,” the DUP MP added.

CharLes (Left) and James Val­l­i­day

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