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EgyptAir signs firm order for Bombardier C Series aircraft

MONTREAL — Bombardier Commercial Aircraft says EgyptAir has signed a firm agreement to purchase a dozen CS300 aircraft along with purchase rights for an additional 12 of the aircraft.

EgyptAir's letter of intent to buy the aircraft was announced Nov. 14 during the Dubai Air Show — about a month after Bombardier announced it would partner with Airbus to manufacture and market the C Series planes.

Bombardier executives said at the air show that the EgyptAir had been looking at the C Series for some time but Airbus's involvement provided it with additional confidence.

Based on the list price of the CS300, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) says the contract is worth approximately $1.1 billion US and would double to $2.2 billion US should EgyptAir buy the other 12 aircraft.

However, rival aircraft maker Boeing alleges that Bombardier's previously announced sale of 75 CS100 jets to Delta was priced at millions of dollars below production cost after the aircraft manufacturer received government subsidies.

Bombardier disputes Boeing's allegations of illegal dumping and the government of Canada says it may appeal punitive U.S. duties that the Commerce Department plans to impose on imports of Bombardier C Series commercial jets.

Delta has also said it will delay receipt of its C Series jets until they can be assembled at an Alabama plant owned by Airbus, which now owns 50.01 per cent of the C Series program, while Bombardier owns 31 per cent and a Quebec government agency owns 19 per cent.

Besides Delta and EgyptAir, the C Series has also been ordered by Iraqi Airways, Saudi Gulf and Gulf Air. Latvia's airBaltic has had the CS300 in commercial service for about a year and SWISS has been operating CS100s for nearly 18 months.

"Welcoming EgyptAir to the family of C Series operators is another landmark moment for Bombardier," said Fred Cromer, the president, of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

"The aircraft is performing exceptionally well, the industry recognizes the C Series as best in class, and this order from another well-established airline is testament to its tremendous value."

In a separate announcement Friday, Bombardier said an unidentified customer has signed a firm order for six CRJ900 aircraft and options on six additional CRJ900 regional jets. The firm order was valued at US$290 million, based on list prices.

The Canadian Press

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