Belfast Telegraph

£1bn boost good news for Belfast wing of Bombardier

By Clare Weir

Yet another big name customer has signed up with Bombardier Aerospace in a deal which could top £1bn.

Latvian carrier airBaltic has signed a letter of intent to acquire 10 CS300 aircraft - the wings of which are made in the company's factory in east Belfast - and take purchase rights on a further 10 CS300 jetliners.

Based on the list price, a firm-order contract with the carrier will be valued at approximately $764m (£481m ), and could increase to $1.57bn (£1.12bn) should the 10 purchase rights be converted to firm orders.

The announcement from Farnborough Air Show is the second this week after it emerged on Sunday that a mystery buyer has ordered new CSeries in a deal which could be worth up to £800m.

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.

AirBaltic serves 60 destinations with direct flights from its home base in Riga, Latvia.

Martin Gauss, chief executive at airBaltic said that the new CS300, which takes to the skies in 2013, was the best fit for an ageing fleet.

"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," he said.

Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft from airlines including Lufthansa and Korean Air.

Wings of the planes are made at Queen's Island in Belfast.

Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier commercial aircraft said that the CSeries continues to reach new milestones.

"The diversity of the CSeries aircraft customers - from national carriers such as airBaltic, major network carriers, low-fare airlines, premium airlines serving city centre airports, and leasing companies - speaks volumes about the flexibility of the aircraft to serve diverse air transport needs worldwide."


The potential ultimate value of the airBaltic order with Bombardier