Russia eyes Bombardier order

08/18/2011

MONTREAL / Bombardier Inc. received a hopeful sign Wednesday that the Russian market may be open to its new CSeries aircraft after years of having its efforts to sell its larger regional jets there stonewalled as the country builds its own planes.

Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) said it had signed a letter of intent to purchase 10 of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft at the MAKS air show outside of Moscow, and that it had put another 10 aircraft on option and taken 10 purchase rights for the plane. The deal is valued at $627 million US, and could grow to $1.9 billion US, if all options and rights are exercised.

If the IFC order is firmed up, as is expected in the coming months, the Russian leasing company will begin taking delivery of the planes in late 2015, the company said.

Chet Fuller, vice-president of sales for Bombardier commercial aircraft, said the order was an important one for Bombardier on two levels. While there are about 12 Russian airlines flying its smaller regional jets, and Bombardier has sold dozens of business jets in the country, the IFC order is the first for its new CSeries there. At the same time, the order will make the CSeries the first non-Russian aircraft in the massive Russian leasing firm’s fleet.

Until now, Bombardier has had difficulty getting its larger regional aircraft certified in the country while Russia developed competitive planes, the Sukhoi SuperJet, which entered service earlier this year, and the larger Irkut MS-21, which is expected to hit the market 2016.

Source: Edmonton Journal

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