Business

Bombardier inks new deal for up to 61 C Series jets, but will deliver fewer of them this year

Bombardier has put pen to paper on its first deal to sell C Series jets in more than a year, but says it will deliver fewer than expected to other customers this year.

Company says it now expects to deliver 20 to 22 of the jets, not 30 as originally planned

Bombardier says it lost $117 million, or five cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a loss of $94 million, or four cents per share, a year ago. (Francois Mori/Canadian Press)

Bombardier has put pen to paper on its first deal to sell C Series jets in more than a year, but says it will deliver fewer than expected to other customers this year.

The jet maker says it has secured an order with an unnamed European-based airline for up to 61 of the jets. The deal includes a "firm" commitment to buy at least 31 of the planes that the Montreal-based company has staked its future on.

Based on the list price, the firm order portion would be worth $2.4 billion. But with an order that size, the purchaser likely received a volume-based discount. 

It's the plane maker's first firm order for the jets in more than a year, stretching back to when it signed a major deal with Delta — a pact that later prompted a trade complaint from rival Boeing.

"This significant new order confirms the increasing confidence customers have in the C Series," CEO Alain Bellemare said of the deal with the unnamed buyer. "Looking forward, as Airbus joins the program, and with the C Series continuing to prove itself in service, we expect sales momentum to accelerate quickly."

Last month, Bombardier made headlines when it partnered with Airbus to make and market its next-generation jets. That move was widely seen as a reaction to Boeing's trade complaint and a way of getting around onerous import duties that would make the jet almost four times more expensive for customers.

At the same time as it was selling more of them, Bombardier said it will only be able to deliver fewer of the planes than it expected to existing customers because of delays from one of its own suppliers.

Bombardier lowered its 2017 delivery guidance to between 20 and 22 jets for this fiscal year. Previously, the company had planned to deliver up to 30, but engine component maker Pratt & Whitney has held back some engine shipments to Bombardier and Airbus so it could offer spare engines to airlines that have had problems with the engines used on aircraft in service.

Quarterly loss grows

The company also posted quarterly financial results on Thursday.

Bombardier says it lost $117 million, or five cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a loss of $94 million, or four cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue was slightly higher at $3.84 billion — up from $3.74 billion.

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