* Iraqi Airways signs letter of intent for 5 jets, 11
* Deal, including options, valued at $1.26 bln
By Susan Taylor
DUBAI/TORONTO, Nov 19 Bombardier Inc
said on Tuesday it has signed a letter of intent to sell five
CSeries jetliners to Iraqi Airways, the first new deal since
June for the aircraft, which the Canadian planemaker has spent
Iraq's national carrier will buy five of the CS300 jets with
options for 11 more. The news from the Dubai Airshow lifted
Bombardier's shares modestly with investors continuing to be
tentative, awaiting more closely watched "firm" orders for the
The deal, which is valued at $387 million at list prices,
but swells to $1.26 billion with options, follows the first
flight of the CSeries in mid-September.
The CSeries, a $3.4 billion development program that brings
Bombardier into competition with the lower-capacity planes built
by industry giants Boeing Co and Airbus, has
suffered from several delays and sluggish demand.
Testing was slow to start, but is advancing according to
plan, CSeries program director Sebastien Mullot told a
Scotiabank Transportation and Aerospace Conference in Toronto on
Nearly 200 hours of flight and ground checks have largely
confirmed that the first test aircraft is behaving as expected,
Mullot said. Bombardier expects to start flying second and third
test vehicles in the coming weeks and intends to run daily test
flights, he added.
"As far as confirming the true performance from a take-off,
landing, fuel-burn standpoint, it's something that is going to
occur more in the first half of 2014," Mullot said at the
As Bombardier gathers data to back up its claims for the
CSeries' fuel and operating cost efficiency, there will be less
need to discount prices to sell planes, Mullot said. "From now
on, you should see the pricing trend going up."
Bombardier has secured 177 firm orders for the CSeries, but
has repeatedly said it will reach 300 firm orders by the time
the first jet is put into commercial use. Its target date for
that is September 2014.
Bombardier also announced on Tuesday that low-cost Thai
carrier Nok Air placed a firm order for two Q400 turboprops with
options for two more planes and purchase rights for another
four, a deal worth up to $258 million.
The Montreal-based plane and train maker also said that Abu
Dhabi Aviation signed a letter of intent for two Q400 aircraft,
worth about $70 million based on list prices.
Bombardier shares rose 3 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to
close at C$4.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.