Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombardier Lands Large Potential C Series Order; Cuts Deliveries for Year

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombardier Lands Large Potential C Series Order; Cuts Deliveries for Year

Article excerpt

Bombardier signs potential C Series order

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MONTREAL - Bombardier Inc. landed its largest potential C Series order in nearly two years even as it cut its forecast for deliveries this year because of engine delivery issues.

The Montreal-based aerospace manufacturer said it has signed a letter of intent with an unidentified European customer for a firm order of 31 C Series aircraft and options for an additional 30 jets. Based on the list price, the firm order portion would be worth $2.4 billion.

Chief executive Alain Bellemare said the potential order that is expected to be finalized this year is great news for the program, which is the subject of a preliminary trade sanction from the U.S. government.

"This new order confirms the increasing confidence that airlines and leasing companies have in the C Series and we expect to see accelerating sales momentum in the months ahead," he said Thursday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.

Tanzania ordered two larger CS300 planes last December, but Delta Air Lines placed an order for up to 125 CS100 aircraft last April.

While the partnership with Airbus announced Oct. 16 will strengthen the program, Bellemare conceded that the order was already in the works.

"I wouldn't say they are today totally linked but is clearly helping us to accelerate the sales momentum," he told analysts.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) confirmed that engine production issues at Pratt & Whitney has forced it to reduce the number of C Series aircraft it will deliver this year.

The company said it now expects to deliver 20 to 22 C Series jets for 2017 compared with its earlier guidance for about 30.

That number should more than double to between 45 and 55 next year.

"At this point in time it's too early to call a number for next year, but probably on the lower end of that range," said chief financial officer John Di Bert. …

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