Riga, Latvia-based Air Baltic Corp. has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire 10 Bombardier CS300s and take purchase rights on a further 10 CS300 jetliners.
Based on the list price of the Bombardier CS300, a firm-order contract with the network carrier (which styles itself airBaltic) will be valued at approximately US$764 million, and could increase to US$1.57 billion should airBaltic convert its 10 purchase rights into firm orders.
“As we look to replace the older aircraft in our fleet, matching the requirements of our business plan, we reviewed the narrowbody platforms from the major airframers and determined that the all-new CS300 aircraft was the best fit,” says Martin Gauss, chief executive officer of airBaltic.
“With its advanced technologies, it is optimized for our market sizes and will be an excellent companion to the eight Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops in our fleet,” adds Gauss. “The superb economics of the aircraft and the delivery timeframe that is available to us are also key factors in our decision to choose Bombardier’s CS300 airliners for our network.”
Gauss continues: “In addition, the travelling experience of our passengers will be further enhanced by the CSeries aircraft’s widebody comfort, including the five-abreast seating and wider middle seat.”
“The CSeries aircraft program continues to reach new milestones, expanding into new markets with unique applications. As the newest customer to join the CSeries aircraft program, airBaltic − known for being innovative − demonstrates the growing demand and need for unmatched technologies and operational flexibility,” says Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
In 2012, airBaltic was named one of the most innovative airlines in the world by airlinetrends.com.
Including today’s announced LOI from airBaltic for 10 CS300 airliners and purchase rights for 10 CS300 airliners, as well as a conditional order for five CS100 and 10 CS300 jetliners placed by an unidentified customer earlier this week during the Farnborough International Airshow 2012, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft.
The Bombardier CSeries order book also includes firm orders for 138 CSeries airliners from Braathens Aviation, five CS100s and five CS300s; Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 30 CS100s for subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines; Korean Air, 10 CS300s; Lease Corporation International Group, 17 CS300s and three CS100s; Switzerland’s PrivatAir, five CS100s; and Republic Airways, 40 CS300s.
Other firm-order customers include an unidentified major network carrier, 10 CS100 aircrafts; an unidentified European customer (thought to be planned London City Airport-based, all-business-class start-up Odyssey International), 10 CS100s; and a well-established, unidentified airline, three CS100s.
Bombardier has also book CSeries options for 124 aircraft and purchase rights for 10 aircraft from these customers, as well as LOIs for up to 30 CSeries aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co, and for up to 15 CS300 aircraft from Atlasjet.