UPDATE 1-Republic says Bombardier CSeries order in place
* CSeries deliveries to Republic Airways to start in 2015
* Bombardier stock off morning lows
* Republic plans order for Airbus A319neos
* Republic has firm order for 40 Bombardier CSeries (Recasts with Republic Airways comment, updates share price; in U.S. dollars unless noted)
VANCOUVER, June 22 (Reuters) - Republic Airways Holdings' (RJET.O) order for 40 of Bombardier Inc's (BBDb.TO) new CSeries aircraft is intact, a Republic spokesman said on Wednesday as some concerns on the fate of the deal swirled in the market.
"The CSeries order remains in place," Peter Kowalchuk, a spokesman for the Indianapolis-based airline company said in an email. He added that the aircraft will start being delivered in 2015.
Bombardier's stock fell more than 4 percent early on Wednesday on news that Republic, its the biggest customer so far for its new slow-to-sell CSeries aircraft, planned to place a large order for a rival jetliner.
Republic said earlier it had signed a letter of intent to buy 80 of Airbus Industrie's (EAD.PA) revamped A320neo family of aircraft, including 40 A319neo planes, a direct competitor of Bombardier's CSeries. [nWEB6730]
"We do not believe that this news necessarily means that the CSeries order is at risk -- although a cancellation is certainly a possibility -- but there is clearly greater uncertainty," National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen said in a note to clients from the Paris Air Show.
The CSeries, which Bombardier is set to launch late in 2013, is Bombardier's bold $3 billion foray into its biggest class of commercial aircraft yet. It pits the world's No. 3 planemaker, which is better known for its smaller regional aircraft and business jets, against the 110- to 150-seat planes of competitors Airbus and Boeing Co (BA.N).
"We need aircraft in the greater-than-160-seat category and that's in the Airbus Neo sweet spot," Republic's Kowalchuk said.
He added that the smaller sub-160-seat Neo "maintains significant operating capability from Denver's hot and high geography to our international destinations".
Sales of the CSeries have been slow so far although Bombardier picked up a couple of small orders at the Paris Air Show this week as well as some others earlier this month.
Republic Airways has placed a firm order with Bombardier for 40 CSeries aircraft and also has options on 40 more. Montreal-based Bombardier has 113 firm orders for the CS100 and CS300 models so far.
"Fortunately, Bombardier has diversified its CSeries order book in recent weeks so it is less exposed to any single customer," Doerksen said.
By early afternoon Bombardier's stock was off its lows but still down down 22 Canadian cents, or 3 percent, at C$6.81 in brisk trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
($1=$0.97 Canadian) (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob Wilson)
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