Bombardier and EgyptAir on Tuesday announced a $2.2 billion order for the Canadian plane maker’s C Series aircraft. The Cairo-based carrier signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for up to 24 CS300s, which it looks to deploy into its regional offshoot EgyptAir Express.
Tuesday’s order includes a firm order for 12 CS300 with purchase rights for an additional 12. Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s President, Fred Cromer, said based on list prices the firm contract would be valued at $1.1 billion, which will go up to $2.2 billion should EgyptAir exercise its purchase rights for the additional 12.
Cromer said that the two parties expect to finalise the LOI and turn it into a firm agreement by the “end of this year.”
“We have a strategic plan for wide-body, narrow-body and a smaller narrow-body. This aircraft will in future fill the gap for the small narrow-body aeroplane category,” said Safwat Musallam, Chairman and chief executive of EgyptAir Holding Company. The C Series targets the 100-150-seat aeroplane market.
“It will allow us to best serve domestic and regional destinations, including neighbouring Arab cities and the Middle East besides European destinations,” he said. He added that some of the C Series aircraft will replace the carrier’s current fleet.
We have a strategic plan for wide-body, narrow-body and a smaller narrowbody. This aircraft will in future fill the gap for the small narrow-body aeroplane category.”
- Safwat Musallam | Chairman and chief executive of EgyptAir
The two players, however, did not divulge a delivery schedule for the order. “We will disclose a delivery schedule when the customer is ready,” Cromer said.
Asked if, with this order, EgyptAir would become the launch operator for Bombarider’s C Series aircraft in this region, Musallam did not nod in affirmation, but said: “I hope we will be the first ones to fly it.”
The move comes a month after European plane manufacturer Airbus acquired a majority 50. 1 per cent stake in Bombardier’s C Series aircraft programme. This was just after Bombardier was hit by 300 per cent in anti-dumping duties by the United States, following a complaint from Boeing that the company had dumped its C Series jets at “absurdly low” prices.
Commenting on the significance of the Bombardier-Airbus partnership, EgytpAir’s Musallam said the partnership would bring added support to the C Series programme.
Other Middle East carriers have the C Series on order too. Asked if EgyptAir will be the first one to fly this in the region, Musallam said: “We hope so.”