C Series secures surprise $1.1bn jet order boost

Bombardier is closing in on the second deal for its C Series jet since reaching a landmark agreement with Airbus a few weeks ago that will see the European aircraft maker take control of the programme to help revive the plane’s fortunes.

EgyptAir Airlines plans to buy 12 of Bombardier’s CS300, the biggest variant of the narrow-body jet, and has options for a further 12, the carrier said at the Dubai Air Show. The deal is valued at $1.1bn (€943m) before discounts.

The accord is a significant win for Bombardier and its operations in Belfast where it employs 4,000 people, which gains another customer for its new jet less than a month after the company agreed to cede control of the C Series to Airbus in exchange for the European planemaker’s marketing heft, manufacturing expertise and financial muscle.

The aircraft had been plagued by delays and cost overruns, and recently was hit with 300% tariffs in the US after a trade complaint by Boeing.

Bombardier expects to turn EgyptAir’s letter of intent into a firm order by the end of 2017, commercial aircraft chief Fred Cromer told reporters from Dubai. The agreement makes good on the company’s expectations the Airbus deal.

Earlier this month, Montreal-based Bombardier said an unidentified European customer was planning to buy 31 C Series aircraft with options for 30 more.

That’s a distinct turnaround, as prior to the deal Bombardier hadn’t sealed a major purchase since Delta Air Lines ordered 75 planes in April 2016.

The CS300 carries a list price of $89.5m, although discounts of 50% or more are common in the industry.

Bloomberg

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