Belfast planemaker Bombardier Aerospace is celebrating another soaraway success after scooping orders worth almost £80m for its new CSeries range of planes.
The wings of the craft are made at a special facility which will eventually employ around 800 people at the firm's base in the Titanic Quarter.
On the eve of the industry spectacular of the Farnborough Air Show, the company has also announced that a previously publicised conditional order for CRJ regional jets in the lucrative Chinese market has been converted to a firm order that could eventually be worth up to £316m.
The 12th CSeries customer, which has requested to remain unidentified as yet, has placed a conditional order for five CS100 and 10 CS300 jetliners. Based on list prices, the contract is valued at approximately $1.02bn (£77m).
The 12 customers that have joined the CSeries aircraft programme — nine with firm orders — include major national carriers, premium airlines serving city-centre airports, a low-cost airline and leasing companies.
Meanwhile, China Express Airlines has converted a conditional order for six CRJ900 NextGen regional jets to a firm order. The transaction includes options on an additional five aircraft.
Based on the list price, the firm order contract is valued at around $264m (£170m), and could increase to $491m (£316m) should the five options be converted to firm orders.
A spokeswoman for Bombardier Belfast said that the latest CSeries order was endorsement of the skills of the workforce and the green technology used on the Northern Ireland-made wings.
“The CSeries aircraft composite wing programme is meeting all expectations,” she said.
“The CSeries aircraft wing programme will employ over 800 employees when we are at full production in a few years’ time, and is further benefiting the local economy through the strong involvement of local companies.”
The good news comes just weeks after the company won orders for five Learjet 75 aircraft, valued at approximately $65m (£41m) from London Air Services.
The entire fuselage of the aircraft is made in Northern Ireland.
It also emerged last month that Bombardier is to supply at least 100 Challenger craft to billionaireWarren Buffet's private aviation firm NetJets in a deal worth up to $7bn (£4.5bn) if options for a further 175 aircraft are taken up.
Farnborough takes place on even-numbered years.
At the event's counterpart exhibition, the Paris Air Show, in 2011, Bombardier Aerospace announced major CSeries deals with Korean Air and another unnamed airline.
The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000lb/5,443kg lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category. The CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15% cash operating cost advantage and a 20% fuel burn advantage. Customers include Braathens, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Korean Air and Republic Airways. The 100-seat CSeries aircraft is scheduled to enter into service in late 2013.