Bombardier’s regional jet drought almost over

The Montreal-based plane-maker expects several sales campaigns to bear fruit at Dubai Air Show

November 9, 2011   by Staff

MONTREALBombardier’s order drought for regional planes and the larger CSeries is about to end, with several airlines likely placing orders in the coming weeks, according to an industry analyst.

Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial says the Montreal-based manufacturer has positive news on the horizon with the first orders likely to be announced next week at the Dubai Air Show.

Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines is expected to order 18 regional jets, and Doerkson says there’s a 50-50 chance Garuda will buy Bombardier CRJ1000’s.

Demand for the Q400 planes could also take off, with SkyWest’s fleet replacement presenting a major opportunity.

SkyWest operates a more than 500 regional jets, many of which are expected to be replaced by larger regional planes and turboprops.

Doerksen says a string of new orders for regional aircraft should boost investor confidence in Bombardier’s aerospace segment, which has seen share prices plummet more than 40 per cent since March.

A shortage of regional aircraft orders has forced production cuts for the CRJ and Q400 planes.

In October, the company announced a $264-million deal for six CRJ1000 regional jets to an unnamed Chinese airline.

The plane-maker’s president has said developing further ties with China will be critical to the company’s future.

Last week, Bombardier was also named one of Research InfoSource’s top Canadian innovators for 2010.

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