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Bombardier pushing CSeries in talks with Air Canada

Dec. 11, 2013, Montreal - Bombardier Inc. is continuing talks with Air Canada about a possible order for the CSeries jet, the new model struggling with development delays, as the carrier nears its target for a decision on buying new planes.


December 11, 2013
By Bloomberg

Air Canada, whose main line fleet now includes Boeing Co.
and Airbus SAS aircraft, “will have to decide how many manufacturers
they want to have,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Mike
Arcamone said yesterday in an interview at the company’s aerospace
facility in Mirabel.

 

The airline is studying options to replace 86
narrow-body jets from Airbus’s A320 family and 45 of Embraer SA’s
smaller E190s. Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu said in October
he wanted to order planes by year’s end and was weighing models from
Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and

Montreal-based Bombardier. He has said he’s
open to purchasing from multiple plane makers.

 

“The feeling out
there is that Air Canada is a home-team customer,” David Tyerman, a
Canaccord Genuity analyst in Toronto with a buy rating on Bombardier,
said in a telephone interview. While he said he expects the plane to
succeed, some investors are poised to conclude that “if you can’t even
sell it to the home team, the jet is going to fail.”

 

A CSeries
order from Canada’s largest airline would be a boost for Montreal-based
Bombardier after the plane’s first flight ran more than eight months
late, bad weather slowed certification trials and costs for the program
rose to $3.9 billion, 15 per cent more than projected.


ORDER AWAITS

 

Arcamone
declined to say when he expects Air Canada to place its narrow-body
order, saying it’s up to the airline to decide. Isabelle Arthur, a
spokeswoman for Montreal-based Air Canada, declined to comment in an
email.

 

Some carriers such as Delta Air Lines Inc. have said they
prefer using more than one manufacturer to widen their options when
buying planes. Others have sought uniformity to curb costs. The CSeries
seats as many as 160 people, compared with 150 to 180 for A320-type
aircraft and 96 to 114 seats for the E190s.

 

Bombardier is still
118 orders short of a target for 300 firm orders of the CSeries by the
time the aircraft enters service next year.

 

The company is engaged
in several CSeries sales campaigns in China, said Arcamone, who
returned from a trip to the Asian country last week. Bombardier’s
October agreement with China’s CDB Leasing Co. for as many as 30 CSeries
aircraft may prompt fresh purchases by customers there, he said.

 

“That’s
a very positive deal for us,” Arcamone said of the CDB Leasing accord.
“They have government authorization to exercise 15 options, and we have
several discussions with many airlines on the CSeries. So I’m very
bullish we will be penetrating China, because China requires that type
of aircraft. China is a very big push of mine.”

 

Arcamone said he
remains confident American Airlines Group Inc. will buy regional jets
from Bombardier in the next few months. American — formed Dec. 9 when
AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. combined — may order at least 70
aircraft, including options, Bombardier executives have said.

 

“We’re waiting for American to let us know their final decision but we’re very optimistic,” Arcamone said.