Air Canada firms up order for 45 Bombardier CSeries passenger jets

MONTREAL – Air Canada has finalized a previously announced order for at least 45 Bombardier CSeries passenger jets, worth US$3.8 billion at list prices.

Deliveries of the CS300 jets, currently the largest model of Bombardier’s new CSeries planes, will begin in late 2019 and extend to 2022.

Air Canada (TSX:AC) also has an option to order up to 30 additional CS300s — making the order potentially worth up to US$6.3 billion, at list prices. The actual price is usually discounted but not announced.

The two Montreal-based companies announced a preliminary agreement in February as part of a series of initiatives by Bombardier (TSX:BBD), Air Canada, and the Quebec and federal governments.

The province agreed last week to provide the first US$500-million instalment of a US$1 billion investment in the CSeries program by the end of this month and the second instalment on Sept. 1.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa is continuing to negotiate potential financial support for Bombardier, which is seeking US$1 billion from the federal government.

Air Canada’s order confirmation was announced a day before Bombardier delivers the first CSeries aircraft to Swiss International Air Lines, the first carrier to operate the new generation of plane.