Friday , October 19 2018

EgyptAir to plot makeover with 787, C Series deals

epa05422729 Airbus A321-231 of the Egyptian EgyptAir seen at Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt, 13 July 2016.  EPA/KHALED ELFIQI


EgyptAir Airlines Co. is poised to expand its fleet with a flurry
of deals for long-range and
short-haul aircraft, including a
$1.1 billion order for Bombardier Inc’s C Series jets, people familiar with the matter said.
The Cairo-based company was expected to announce a firm order for 12 CS300 jets as early as Tuesday at the Dubai Airshow, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. The airline is mulling acquiring options to buy another dozen of the single-aisle planes, said one of the people.
EgyptAir is expected to unveil a deal for at least six of Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliners, the first passenger jets made from strands of carbon fiber, said people familiar with the discussions. Airbus SE has also been in talks to secure a commitment for its A320neo single-aisle jetliners, the people said. Representatives of the airline, Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier declined to comment.
The shopping spree, following months of negotiations, marks an expansion push for Egypt’s flag carrier after it weathered slumping tourist visits and a fatal crash last year. Egypt Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said that the government expected to pay about $3.3 billion of the cost to acquire 45 planes.
The deal is especially significant for Bombardier, which gains another customer for its new jet less than a month after the company agreed to cede control of the
C Series to Airbus in exchange for the European planemaker’s marketing heft and manufacturing expertise. The aircraft had been plagued by delays and cost overruns, and recently was hit with 300 percent tariffs in the US after a trade complaint by Boeing Co.
Bombardier Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare told analysts that he expected sales of the
C Series would accelerate following the deal with Airbus. Its presence is “adding confidence about the long-term success of the programme,” he said.
That same day, Montreal-based Bombardier said an unidentified European customer was planning to buy 31 C Series aircraft with options for 30 more. Bombardier hasn’t sealed a major purchase since Delta Air Lines Inc. ordered 75 planes in April of last year.
The CS300 carries a list price of $89.5 million, although discounts of 50 percent or more are common in the industry. The jet, the larger of two C Series versions, can carry 130 to 160 passengers.
Airbus has vowed to cut the aircraft’s production costs and secure thousands of new orders for the
C Series, which Bombardier spent more than $6 billion to develop.

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