Jet builder Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced two new orders for its CRJ Series aircraft, involving a total of 10 new aircraft and valued at up to $455 million. CRJs are regional aircraft available in six models for 50 to 100 passengers.
The first order calls for eight CRJ900 jets to be supplied to CityJet, an Irish company that operates from London City Airport. While formerly operating under a “wet lease” within the code-sharing network of Air France (meaning that company provide the “aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance,” or ACMI), CityJet is now an independent airline and is building a separate route network from that central London hub, where it already holds 30% of the slots.
The new CRJ900s will operate in the code-sharing network of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). CityJet is acquiring the aircraft from a customer that signed a firm purchase agreement for eight CRJ900 aircraft, and took options on an additional six. Bombardier declined to identify that intermediate buyer.
The purchase agreement for eight CRJ900 aircraft is valued at approximately $369 million, Bombardier said, though it includes options for six more jets and could rise to $651 million those are exercised.
“The long-term profitability and development of our airline is dependent on the addition of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft to our fleet,” stated CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne. “The CRJ900 jetliners with their lower operating costs, outstanding operational flexibility and enhanced cabin amenities were key factors in our successful tender for our new SAS contract.”
SAS president and CEO Rickard Gustafson said the new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft would feed its flight schedule effectively and complement the 12 CRJ900 aircraft in SAS’ current network operation.
Bombardier also announced a second order for two CRJ700 aircraft from an unnamed, “existing” customer. CRJ700s are configured to carry 70 passengers. This order is estimated at $86 million by the OEM.
Including these new agreements, Bombardier noted it has recorded firm orders for 1,873 CRJ Series aircraft to date, and the jets are in service with more than 60 airlines worldwide.