x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 November 2017

Bombardier inks $1.1 billion deal with EgyptAir for C Series jets 

The new jets will enable the Cairo-based carrier to expand its network  

EgyptAir will use the Bombardier CS300 aicraft to expand the reach of its network. Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
EgyptAir will use the Bombardier CS300 aicraft to expand the reach of its network. Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

EgyptAir, the North African country's national carrier, inked a $1.1 billion deal with Canada's Bombardier for 12 mix-range jets with the option to buy additional aircraft.

The agreement includes a firm order for 12 CS300 jets with purchase rights for another 12 aircraft, which would boost the value of the agreement to $2.2 billion if exercised, the company said on Tuesday.

"We selected the C Series aircraft because its excellent range will allow us to best serve domestic and regional destinations, including neighbouring Arab cities, the Middle East as well as European destinations," said Safwat Musallam, chairman and chief executive of the the Cairo-based carrier.

The expansion by the Egyptian carrier will be a boost to the country's tourism industry impacted by the devaluation of the pound and terrorism in the Sinai peninsula.

The North African country'a economy is on the rebound. The Egyptian economy picked up in the fiscal year ending June 2017, growing by 4.2 per cent, beating projections of 3.5 per cent growth, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Washington-based organisation agreed earlier this month to the disbursement of a $2bn loan after a review of Egypt’s economic reforms.

The new aircraft will be used by EgyptAir Express and the carrier expects to be the regional launch customer for the jets in the region. The planes will be will be used to replace small, narrow body aircraft in the fleet as part of the airline’s strategic plan, Musallam said.

In October, Airbus agreed to buy a majority stake in the Canadian plane-maker C Series programme. The CS300, larges of two versions made by the Montreal-based company has a list price of $89.5 million before discount. The aircraft can carry 130 to 160 passengers.

"We look forward to expanding our network with the CS300," Musallam added.