Bombardier Aerospace has announced new commitments for 48 CSeries jets and has revealed airBaltic as the existing customer, undisclosed until now, which recently ordered three more CS300s.
Announcing the deals the weekend before and on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow 2014, the manufacturer revealed commitments for Bombardier CSeries jets from three new customers and conversion of an earlier commitment from an existing customer into a firm order for two CS300s.
Two of the new commitments are for 20 or more aircraft, involving an airline in China and a regional-airliner leasing company based in the United Kingdom.
The new firm order comes from Falcon Aviation Services LLC of Abu Dhabi, which has signed a firm purchase agreement for two Bombardier CS300 jetliners. This represents a conversion of the letter of intent (LOI) that Falcon announced on February 26 to acquire one CS300 aircraft and option another.
When the LOI was announced, Falcon Aviation Services became the first customer for CSeries jets in the United Arab Emirates.
Based on the list price of the CS300, Bombardier Aerospace values Falcon Aviation Services’ order at approximately US$153.6 million.
Falcon Aviation Services is based at Al Bateen Executive Airport and operates a fleet of corporate jets conducting VIP charter flights, as well as a fleet of helicopters serving the offshore oil and gas industry.
The company also conducts search and rescue, aircraft management, maintenance, repair and overhaul, as well as consulting operations and recently ordered two Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop regional airliners for its fleet.
“We selected the CSeries aircraft because of its outstanding passenger amenities and superior performance – particularly its excellent range and hot-and-high capability,” says Capt Mahmoud Ismael, chief operating officer of Falcon Aviation Services. “All these factors, along with the strength of the Bombardier brand, position the CS300 aircraft exceedingly well for our business development plans versus its competition.
“Our CS300 aircraft will feature a unique configuration to specifically cater to business, corporate and elite travelers in the Middle East and connecting to North Africa, Europe and the Far East,” adds Capt Ismael.
Meanwhile, Zhejiang Loong Airlines Co., Ltd. (which operates as LoongAir) has signed an LOI to acquire 20 Bombardier CS100 airliners. The operator, based in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, began domestic service in 2013.
Zhejiang Loong Airlines currently operates Airbus A320s and had previously also ordered 20 new Airbus A320-family aircraft.
Based on the list price for the CS100, Bombardier values a firm order from Zhejiang Loong Airlines for 20 CS100s at approximately US$1.28 billion.
“The CSeries airliner is the right-size aircraft to allow for profitable growth as Loong Air seeks to expand its network and provide improved connectivity and frequencies to an increasing number of domestic travelers,” says Liu Qihong, chairman of Loong Air. “With its clean-sheet design and leading-edge technology, Bombardier’s CSeries family of airliners provides a distinct economic advantage.”
“The growing diversity of operators in both our traditional and growth markets who are centering business cases around the use of the CSeries jetliners is a testament to the aircraft’s unmatched flexibility and outstanding operational efficiencies,” remarks Ray Jones, senior vice president, sales, marketing and asset management for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Bombardier has also announced that Riga, Latvia-based Air Baltic Corporation AS (airBaltic) is the previously announced undisclosed customer which converted options on three CS300s to a firm order in February. AirBaltic finalized its original order for 10 firm CS300s with options for 10 more on December 20, 2012.
Based on the list price of the CS300, Bombardier values airBaltic’s additional three-aircraft firm order at approximately US$228 million.
“As airBaltic moves forward in its business strategy and fleet optimization plan, it needs to take advantage of all the available opportunities for growth beyond 2016, and the all-new CS300 airliner continues to be the best fit hence we elected to exercise those available options, says Martin Gauss, chief executive officer of airBaltic.
“With its advanced technologies, the aircraft is optimized for our market sizes and will be an excellent companion to the 12 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 add additional Bombardier’s CS300 airliners to our network.”
Established in 1995, airBaltic is the main carrier in the Baltic region and operates schedules from Latvia’s capital Riga serving 60 destinations spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East, using a fleet of 25 aircraft.
Another significant new Bombardier CSeries commitment, announced by the manufacturer on July 12, is the signing of two LOIs by lessor Falko Regional Aircraft Limited regarding the purchase of up to 24 Bombardier CS100 mainline jets.
“This year has been instrumental in building a solid relationship with Bombardier as we placed its regional jet and turboprop aircraft into our leasing portfolio and today, we are pleased to take the first step towards adding Bombardier’s state-of-the-art CS100 aircraft,” says Mark Hughes, executive vice president, corporate finance, for Falko Regional Aircraft Limited.
“As we begin a period of worldwide growth and expansion with a strong pipeline of acquisitions, the CSeries aircraft will figure prominently in our plans,” says Hughes. “We are confident about its future and positioning in our core marketplace.”
“As a long-established leader and visionary in the commercial aircraft market, we are thrilled to welcome Falko to the CSeries aircraft family of customers and lessors,” says Bombardier’s Jones. “As the fourth lessor to recognize the CSeries aircraft’s considerable market potential, Falko brings an impressive amount of knowledge and experience in placing aircraft in this market segment and we are pleased it has placed its confidence in the CS100 aircraft.”
Falko has recently placed Bombardier CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen regional airliners with long-time Bombardier customers Mesa Airlines Inc. and Adria Airways, and has also acquired Bombardier Q400 turboprops on lease to Croatia Airlines.
Bombardier’s third new CSeries commitment comes from Petra Airlines Ltd. of Amman, Jordan.
Petra Airlines has signed an LOI to acquire up to four CS100 and CS300 airliners. Should the LOI be converted to a firm order, the transaction would include two firm-ordered CS100s and options on two CS300s, according to Bombardier.
Based on list prices, the manufacturer values Petra Airlines’ potential firm order for two CS100s at approximately US$136.5 million. This would increase to US$298.4 million if Petra Airlines were to convert its two CS300 options to a firm order.
Petra Airlines, based at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport, began as a charter carrier and became a scheduled airline in 2012. It serves destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
“As Jordan’s low-cost carrier, we require the most efficient and most economical aircraft available,” says Riad Khashman, Petra Airlines’ chief executive officer.
“That meant Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft,” adds Khashman. “CSeries jetliners have built-in operational flexibility which will allow us to tailor them to meet our specific needs. They’re quiet, they have an unmatched environmental footprint and their widebody comfort will be appealing to our passengers.”